That’s me on the right, on Thursday, January 26, 2017, celebrating the acquisition of my permanent resident status in the United States. It means that I am in possession of what’s colloquially known as a “green card”.
Of the many things you have to do to qualify for a green card, one of the is filling out the I-485 form, which is more formally known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status:
Part 8 of the I-485 is called General Eligibility and Inadmissibility Grounds, and is made up of 67 questions, one of which asks you if you somehow were involved with the Nazis:
Here’s the text of the question:
During the period from March 23, 1933 to May 8, 1945, did you ever order, incite, assist, or otherwise participate in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion, in association with either the Nazi government of Germany or any organization or government associated or allied with the Nazi government of Germany?
That’s right: In the process that determined whether I was allowed to call this place home, I had to disavow any connection with the Nazis. And I did so easily, gladly and proudly.
So why can’t the President?
He was uncharacteristically silent for the first part of Saturday, when stories about the torch gathering the night before and neo-Nazis on the street that morning were already circulating:
Hell of a day for the President to forget how to tweet. pic.twitter.com/ABffmwwH8D
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 12, 2017
When he finally made a statement that afternoon, it was this weak sauce…
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
…and his televised speech was equally mitigated:
It’s uncharacteristic of him — he’s usually pretty quick to “name names”:
The president has been more directly critical of TV hosts, cable news, actresses, comedy shows, & the intelligence community than of nazis.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) August 12, 2017
The slow, faint response wasn’t lost on former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard and high-profile white nationalist David Duke, who took it as implicit support…
Here’s the text from that screenshot (because there’s no way in Hell that I’m linking to the Daily Stormer):
3:46 p.m.: Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.
He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate…on both sides!
So he implied the antifa were haters.
There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.
He said he loves us all.
Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him.
No condemnation at all.
When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room.
Really, really good.
God bless him.
I’ll say it again:
I easily, gladly, and proudly disavowed the Nazis in front of witnesses, including my wife, my lawyer, and a U.S. government official.
Why can’t the President do the same in front of the American people?
It’s a shame that the I-485’s “Nazi question” is limited to the time period from March 1933 through May 1945. Even a kid who turned the minimum qualifying age — 10 — for the junior division of the Hitler Youth on V-E day would be 82 years old at the time of this writing. I think that it should be phrased more like question 56, the “Communist question”, which asks if you’ve ever, during any point in time, in any country, been part of or tied to the Communist Party or any other totalitarian party: