by Judy Ferro
I feel compelled to answer those who don’t understand opposition to President Trump’s immigration order postponing admission to the United States for some persons 90 to 120 days and, for Syrians, indefinitely.
Let me state it simply.
The President of the United States signed an order violating our Constitution and several treaties. He did so without consulting with Congressional leaders in his party, the Justice Department, Homeland Security, or the Pentagon.
His staff then defended the order by claiming it was just like one Obama had signed that caused no upheaval.
That could mean two things—either no one involved understood the differences between Obama’s and Trump’s orders or that they are hoping to lie their way out of the backlash they’re facing.
Obama’s order did not leave academics or medical interns unable to return to their positions. It didn’t turn back a four-month old scheduled for heart surgery in Oregon. It didn’t lead to Iraqis who aided American troops in two wars being held at airports.
Obama’s order was not stayed by a Federal judge, nor did he fire an acting attorney general, that he himself had appointed, for acceding to the judge’s orders. It didn’t lead to security forces in one part of the country acting differently than counterparts in another.
The difference? Obama’s order did not apply to those who already had visas in their hands nor to those with green cards allowing them to work in the United States. Moreover, it didn’t give preference to Christians.
I realize that Trump spokesman Sean Spicer has said that enforcement is being altered so those with green cards (work permits) will be allowed to enter. That doesn’t change the fact that Trump and his advisors did a stupid thing in the first place.
And it’s highly unlikely that they can improve on the extreme vetting that Obama initiated. (Details of the 11-step process have been posted by Rep. Joe Courtney: https://courtney.house.gov/us-refugee-security-screening-wake-paris-terrorist-attacks.)
Trump supporters, however, insist our safety is more important than laws, treaties, and the inconvenience of the estimated 80,000 persons whose visas won’t be honored for months.
Except there is no indication that our safety was threatened. According to FactCheck.org, in the past 40 years 768,000 murders have occurred in the US; 3,432—including 2,996 from the 9-11 attacks–were by foreign-born terrorists.
None were committed by immigrants or refugees from the seven countries included in Trump’s order– Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
It’s impossible for Trump to improve on his predecessors’ record.
I hope President Trump does not act as rashly in deporting undocumented immigrants. He’s pledged to deport all 11 million. (Although President Obama protected undocumented students, he did deport more illegal immigrants than any other president–2.5 million by the end of 2015.)
District 10 Rep. Greg Chaney has stepped in to help Trump. His bill, HB 76, it would cut off sales tax sharing with any “sanctuary city” in Idaho.
We have none.
It would also require all law enforcement officials to research the immigration status of every person they apprehend, whether the person is charged or not. Right now, law enforcement contacts immigration authorities who do the research.
Many fear that law enforcement will react by stopping a lot more brown people. Just as likely, officers may grow sick of doing fruitless computer researches and avoid stopping brown people. Or officers could delegate the research to immigration officials so nothing changes.
Chaney admits he didn’t consult with any law enforcement officers about the bill.
There’s way too much of that going around.