Trump is staffing up the government for an effort to strip citizenship from naturalized immigrants.
The Trump administration is working to ramp up an immigration policy, similar to actions taken during the Red Scare of the 1950s, to strip citizenship from naturalized Americans.
Under the guise of purportedly unearthing people who lied on their citizenship applications, the Trump team is hiring several dozen lawyers and immigration officers for the new effort at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
USCIS head Director L. Francis Cissna told the Associated Press that "potentially a few thousand cases" would be targeted.
Columbia University professor Mae Ngai explained to NPR that "the last time the federal government tried to denaturalize citizens was during the McCarthy period," noting, "they went after people who they were accusing of being Communists who were naturalized citizens."
In the 1950s, the smear campaign engineered by Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI) alleged Communist infiltration throughout the American government. He hounded people, and in some cases destroyed their careers and personal lives.
McCarthy was eventually censured by the Senate and condemned for conduct "contrary to senatorial traditions."
Putting it lightly, Ngai told the outlet "most people" would agree the Red Scare "was not the nation's proudest moment."
The professor also told NPR that the violations Trump is ramping up to pursue are "rare," and "compared to the numbers of people who are naturalized every year, it is a relatively small number."
The Trump administration lacks credibility in narrowing the scope of immigration enforcement. It recently enacted a "zero tolerance" policy for border crossers that led to thousands of children being separated from their parents.
Senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who has been the architect behind many of the administration's immigration initiatives, has expressed zealotry on the topic.
Considering Trump and his party's broad attack on immigrants, the argument that a new operation seeking to strip citizenship from people who have gone through the process will be limited in scope lacks credibility.
Instead it is another front in Trump's assault on immigrants, making people who have sworn loyalty and allegiance to the United States look over their shoulders in fear, worrying that they will be next on Trump's hit list.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.