In his first month in the Oval Office, President Trump has issued few Executive Orders (EO), each of which has potential to stir extreme vetting, racial profiling and deportations. We briefly discuss some of the EO below and their immediate impact.
Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States: This EO placed a 90-day ban on the issuance of US visas and to entry into the United States of any one who is a national of one of the seven “designated” countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, suspended the US Refugee Admission Program for 120 days (for Syrian refugees, the ban was indefinite), suspended visa interview waiver program and extensive review by Department of Homeland Security of any individual, from their country to determine their visa, admission or other immigration benefit and that they are not threat to security or public safety.
Current Impact: The impact of this EO is currently neutered. The US District Judge James Robart granted Temporary Restraining Order on a “nationwide basis” and the Ninth Circuit unanimously refused to reinstate EO. If Supreme Court takes up the case, it will be a split decision and Ninth Circuit’s decision would stand. But is believed the Trump administration may reintroduce this EO with some changes in it. Nevertheless, this EO created climate of chaos and confusion and clearly showcased discrimination based on religion. We hope this stays on hold permanently.
Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States: This EO directs the Executive departments and its agencies to employ all lawful means, to enforce the immigration laws of the United States. It sets aliens on priority who have criminal backgrounds, committed crimes, abused public taxpayer benefits or are a national security concern. Federal grants will not be given to sanctuary cities. The Department of Homeland Security will deputize state and local law enforcement officers to perform functions of federal immigration agents.
Current Impact: This EO may cause greatest danger to the unauthorized immigrants. The local police will transform in to Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) officers. The “enforcement priority” will effectively include all the unauthorized immigrants in the United States, irrespective of their criminal record. An instance of this was witnessed on February 14, 2017, when ICE agents near Seattle, WA, detained and threatened to deport a 23 years old immigrant who is currently under the DACA program with no criminal background. This arrest appears to be arbitrary and denial of administrative and constitutional rights. The past week also observed raids by ICE agents throughout the country and detaining people with criminal background.
We are hopeful checks and balances are placed on the President’s power and the Government policies adhere to the American values!