Stephen Miller, the far-right senior adviser to President Donald Trump, was publicly chastised by his uncle for becoming "the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country." In the deeply personal essay titled "Stephen Miller is an immigration hypocrite. I know because I’m his uncle," David Glosser detailed the pair's shared family history of immigration to the U.S.
Miller is widely considered to have been the mastermind of the president’s most controversial immigration stances, including the Muslim travel ban, the practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.– Mexico border and recently proposed plans to impede the status of millions of legal immigrants by making it more difficult for them to attain citizenship and green cards. Glosser far from applauds his nephew's far-right politics, which he considers to be morally reprehensible.
Glosser begins his essay, which was published Monday by Politico, by outlining the migration of his nephew's family. On the border of what is now Belarus, Miller's family fled the country due to "violent anti-Jewish pogroms." The family arrived on Ellis Island in 1908 and slowly climbed the socioeconomic ladder, creating a prosperous life. Glosser speaks to the "horror" he is witnessing as his nephew seeks to bar others from achieving that same American dream:
I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, who is an educated man and well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.
I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses – the travel ban, radical decrease in refugees, the separation of children from their parents and even talk of limiting citizenship for legal immigrants.
The Trump administration’s immigration policies have been compared to the brutal policies against Jewish migrants during the Second World War, when many were turned away from North American shores. Numerous individuals have compared the president’s ideologies on immigration to Nazism – a narrative that Glosser extrapolates:
Trump publicly parades the grieving families of people hurt or killed by migrants, just as the early Nazis dredged up Jewish criminals to frighten and enrage their political base to justify persecution of all Jews. Almost every American family has an immigration story of its own based on flight from war, poverty, famine, persecution, fear or hopelessness. These immigrants became the workers, entrepreneurs, scientists and soldiers of America.
For their part, the Trump family selectively employs its anti-immigrant views. First lady Melania Trump's parents, who immigrated from Slovenia, recently became U.S. citizens. As Salon's Rachel Leah reported, their attorney "did not confirm how the Knavs obtained green cards, which has left people speculating that the couple was sponsored by Melania as part of the family-based migration policy that Trump has criticized repeatedly."
Michael Wildes, who represented the couple, said the president’s hostility towards chain migration is “unconscionable,” telling CNN "this is a tradition that happens in all rank and all files of life, whether you’re president of the United States — and this is the first naturalized first lady that we have — or people who eventually navigate through the waters into America.”
Glosser did not miss an opportunity to comment on this, as well:
After all, Stephen’s is not the only family with a chain immigration story in the Trump administration. Trump's grandfather is reported to have been a German migrant on the run from military conscription to a new life in the USA and his mother fled the poverty of rural Scotland for the economic possibilities of New York City. (Trump’s in-laws just became citizens on the strength of his wife’s own citizenship.)
One day after his article went viral, Glosser appeared on CNN's "New Day" to discuss his motivations for taking pen to paper. It turns out that he is not the only member of his family who opposes Miller's views. "I had been posting my thoughts on Facebook for the past year or so," Glosser said in the interview. "Various members of the family and myself no longer thought I should have – how should we say – a quiet voice in light of the incarceration of the children at the border."
Glosser said he has received hundreds of emails from people in the past 24 hours describing similar stories of immigration to the U.S. "I write this more in sadness than in anger," he ultimately said.
David Glosser, uncle of senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller, says he wrote a public criticism of his nephew's immigration policies "more in sadness than in anger": "I felt it was incumbent on me to raise my voice, to let people know this is a country of immigrants" pic.twitter.com/U6hZVAK9yL
— New Day (@NewDay) August 14, 2018