JTA: A Jewish journalist is confronting Trump’s immigration advisers with their own immigrant histories

During a combative news conference in early August, White House adviser Stephen Miller told reporters that the United States should prioritize immigrants who speak English.

“Does the applicant speak English?” Miller asked, describing a bill to reduce the overall number of immigrants and reform immigration requirements. “Can they support themselves and their families financially? Do they have a skill that will add to the U.S. economy?”

But if English proficiency had been an immigration requirement a century ago, Miller’s own great-grandmother may not have been allowed into the country.

That’s what journalist Jennifer Mendelsohn discovered that same day while working on a new project she calls Resistance Genealogy. Using public records and genealogical websites like Ancestry.com, Mendelsohn wants to show immigration hard-liners their own immigrant family trees.

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