On March 27, President Trump signed the $2.3 trillion relief bill to aid workers who lost their jobs in the economic crash related to the virus pandemic. The U.S. Treasury promptly mailed out the checks. On April 26, a small note flashed in the news that an Illinois man had filed suit against President Trump and his administration for withholding his relief check because he was married to an immigrant.

I cringed and was outraged by the injustice against a fellow citizen. The offense was perpetrated at our President’s directive. No one else could authorize such action. A recollection from my childhood flashed in my mind. Hitler massacred German nationals in death camps along with their Jewish spouses and families. The similarity between Hitler’s despotism and Trump’s malice shook me to the core of my foundation.

The man in Illinois is not the only one Trumped. Other citizens have come forward to report that they also had their economic benefits denied. They too are suing Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Steve Mnuchin in a class action suit.

Plaintiffs of the lawsuit feel they cannot seek recompense through our Justice Department. The Attorney General of the United States is a Trump appointee. Any reports of injustice are likely to become lost in a shuffle of papers. The plaintiffs can only rely on a civil suit in the courts.

The President has a documented long-standing grudge against immigrants. He slandered, defamed, and characterized them as criminals and murderers in his 2016 campaign. He deported American-born children to Mexico, and deployed ICE agents, nationwide, to threaten mass arrests and mass deportations of the migrants. 

The mayors of sanctuary cities thwarted the onslaught, but they risked loss of government funding for their cities, as Trump’s retaliation.

The other two co-conspirators do not have authority to initiate such a selective scheme. Their complicity, however, enables Trump to circumvent our Constitution, trample the protection afforded by sanctuary cities, and launch his insidious campaign. 

There must have been a nationwide screening of marriage records to select the names of U.S. citizens married to immigrants. The search was likely carried out by personnel on government payroll. For reasons of secrecy, commercial organizations could not be utilized. As expected, there were no whistleblowers. 

Trump’s transgression is multifaceted. It is an abuse of power. It’s a form of ethnic and racial profiling. I think it’s an infringement of the constitutionally granted right to pursue happiness. If not confronted, the abuse could spill over into all marriages and life partnerships. 

The LGBT community is especially vulnerable to prejudicial abuses. Could the ban of biracial marriages be reinstated? After all, the powers of the executive order have been redefined by the farce of the impeachment trial. Now the President can act with impunity and with no accountability. He foments neo-nationalism, and with rhetoric he can direct a mob’s anger toward his perceived opposition. 

The most sinister of Trump’s actions, however, has not been confronted. His selection of the names of U.S. citizens with immigrant spouses, targeted for some perverted retribution, has not been exposed to daylight.

 is a longtime Oak Park resident.   

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