Amidst Global Turmoil, The Immigration Fiasco

There are questions upon questions, such as whether the Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel, vetted the Trump Executive Order before its issuance. It’s not that OLC’s opinion makes it legal, but at the very least it would show that Trump understood the ramifications of the order and intended them.

Did Trump mean to block legal permanent residents, green card holders, from the United States? These are people with homes, car loans, kids in school, who have been here for some length of time, often decades. They have no other home, no other country. They pay taxes, serve in the military, bake cupcakes and perform brain surgery on your child.

There were assertions that Customs and Border Patrol had no clue what they were supposed to do about the EO, and left to their own devices, did their worst as they are wont to do. They detained and blocked with abandon. Were DHS and its subsidiary agencies kept in the dark or fully informed, as Trump supposedly claimed? The former appears most likely, but who knows?

What is known is that the ACLU went to various courts with Habeas Corpus petitions. In the Eastern District of New York, where JFK airport is situated, they obtained a Writ from Judge Ann M. Donnelly.

Judge Ann M. Donnelly of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama, ruled just before 9 p.m. that implementing Mr. Trump’s order by sending the travelers home could cause them “irreparable harm.” She said the government was “enjoined and restrained from, in any manner and by any means, removing individuals” who had arrived in the United States with valid visas or refugee status.

Problem solved? Hardly. It was a stop gap measure, and dealt only with shoes on the ground.

The ruling does not appear to force the administration to let in people otherwise blocked by Mr. Trump’s order who have not yet traveled to the United States.

A similar order was issued in Virginia, where Dulles Airport is located.

Minutes after the judge’s ruling in New York City, another judge, Leonie M. Brinkema of Federal District Court in Virginia, issued a temporary restraining order for a week to block the removal of any green card holders being detained at Dulles International Airport.

None of this provides answers to what’s to become of the great many people who are within the ambit of the EO, as DHS remains dedicated to enforcing it.

In a statement released early Sunday morning, the Department of Homeland Security said it would continue to enforce all of the president’s executive orders, even while complying with judicial decisions. “Prohibited travel will remain prohibited,” the department said in a statement, adding that the directive was “a first step towards re-establishing control over America’s borders and national security.”

The “re-establishing control over America’s borders” language is nonsensical. These aren’t people running across the Mexican border, but people who are in complete compliance with our laws. This is the sort of ludicrous rhetoric designed to pander to the clueless.

The White House said the restrictions would protect “the United States from foreign nationals entering from countries compromised by terrorism” and allow the administration time to put in place “a more rigorous vetting process.” But critics condemned Mr. Trump over the collateral damage on people who had no sinister intentions in trying to come to the United States.

This seems calculated to make sense to people who are angry and ignorant, sweeping all immigrants and refugees together without grasping entirely different circumstances and legal status. To explain, en masse, now to that portion of the public that neither knows nor cares about the distinctions may be impossible. Deeply embedded simplistic erroneous understandings are hard to shake.

That’s true for everyone, which means the opposition is similarly filled with people who are spewing equal but opposite falsehoods that they believe as much as the other side. The day was replete with shrieking about the EO, the law, the policy, most of which was either facially wrong or completely unfounded. Everyone was certain they were right and the other side either stupid or evil.

For the purposes of this issue, however, Trump’s EO is the font of these problems. There is no rational explanation to support detaining and removing legal permanent residents. None. There is slightly better reason with regard to visa holders in general, but in specifics, it’s similarly irrational.

For the hard of thinking, this wasn’t about blocking illegals or stopping potential terrorists from entering the United States. This was about keeping people who were here, live here, are your friends and neighbors, teachers and doctors, from coming home. It’s nuts. If you don’t realize this, you’re nuts.

Having been pretty hard on the ACLU for their abandonment of constitutional rights in favor of illiberal social justice, they did some fine work in obtaining the Writs. Be circumspect about sending them donations, much as people did for the Red Cross following various catastrophes. They did good here. That doesn’t mean they always do good. That doesn’t mean your donations given in the rush of happy feelings for one purpose aren’t used for another.

And then there was the unseemly touchdown dance.

“I hope Trump enjoys losing. He’s going to lose so much we’re going to get sick and tired of his losing,” ACLU national political director Faiz Shakir told Yahoo News shortly after the decision was announced.

Getting a stay was good, but perhaps the ACLU should wait a bit before celebrating. It’s a victory, but a small one, and they’re a long way from winning any significant battle, no less the war. The headiness of a minor win fills hearts with joy, because feelings matter the most to those who know no better.

There were dozens, if not hundreds, of immigration lawyers who quietly went to airports to represent the detained immigrants. Some were denied access, even after judges issued orders granting access. Their efforts reflected lawyers at their finest, simply doing what needed to be done to serve others. There were also lawyers “virtue twitting” their availability, using this as a marketing ploy. While the former deserve appreciation, the latter are scum.

What this fiasco demonstrated was how the tides have shifted. Those who loved Obama’s Executive Orders hate Trump’s. Those who hated nationwide injunctions against Obama love them against Trump. And mostly, the depth and scope of ignorance about law and policy revealed people’s ugliest sides. Hypocritical, ignorant and self-righteous, both sides were pounding their chests as hard as possible, even as they spewed fake news, erroneous law, false facts, bizarre claims and irrational arguments. Both sides. Both. Sides.

Kinda interesting how the crowd sounds like zombies, repeating Warren’s nonsense as she basks in the glow of her radicalism. It’s not as if she’s a United States Senator who could affect law? Its not as if she came out of Harvard Law School and should know law. Pander to the passionate crowds, enjoy the love. But never be the grown-up in the room that could actually accomplish something useful. That would make the crowd sad and give them headaches when all they want to do is repeat simplistic chants.

There were many people out at various airports protesting against the detentions yesterday, and others encouraging them by claiming this was having an impact on the judges. Because judges care deeply about what clueless kids with hearts of gold carrying insipid signs with fortune cookie slogans feel. Or maybe a nice hashtag campaign or petition will persuade the judge to rule the “right” way?

We’ve had decades, eons, to become informed about these issues, to address them as they developed into the structural monsters they are today, and none of these deeply passionate people bother to learn the real issues, open their minds to the problems, intended and unintended, created or the consequences that come down the line.

Nobody gave a damn when Bill Clinton signed the IIRIRA in 1996, allowing the detention and removal of legal permanent residents, those green-card holders you’re crying about today. What? You didn’t know this? Of course you didn’t.

17 thoughts on “Amidst Global Turmoil, The Immigration Fiasco

  1. Richard Kopf


    Speaking of charades, watch as the federal courts in Hispanic-heavy states like Nebraska begin seeing even more illegal reentry after deportation cases triggered by such monsters as a tipsy driver who stopped at the bar after an eight-hour shift on the kill floor of a packing plant. Like dance partners, federal judges react with time served sentences under the “fast track” departure and removal provisions.

    With new $200 papers, and despite the bus ride across the Rio Grande, the offender will be back to work at another packing plant in a couple of weeks, wall or no wall. He will also continue to consume a few cervezas after work in order to make his job seem less hellish.

    And America will be safe again. All the best.


    1. SHG Post author

      Way too much nuance for the fortune cookie crowd to understand. But everybody knows the solutions, Judge. Well neither of us, but everybody else.

  2. Grum

    So, the very people who have set up a massive apparatus of oppression, so that they feel that they are “doing something” never thought that it would fall into the hands of someone they don’t agree with?
    And not only that, the very same social media that they use to express their outrage at “things”?
    I’m finding it hard to decide if Trump is a satarist of genius, or a dingbat, but either way, surely it might incline some people to start thinking.
    In a sane world, Scott, this post would get millions of hits.

    1. Patrick Maupin

      “satarist” is an awesome portmanteau: change one letter and it’s “satirist”; change another letter instead, and it’s “satanist.”

        1. Patrick Maupin

          Ya have to learn to shut up and take the credit. You should probably put it in the urban dictionary before someone else does.

          1. Grum

            Perhaps I should, but, aw, c’mon, I have waited years for someone to tweak the righteous like this. So words fail me.

  3. Patrick Maupin

    Nobody gave a damn when Bill Clinton signed the IIRIRA in 1996, allowing the detention and removal of legal permanent residents…

    I did, because my wife is a permanent resident. But you’re right; I’m a nobody.

  4. KP

    Too bad there wasn’t this outcry over Obama’s EO’s. they could have done with some close sreening before he went off killing random people all over the world.

    Oh wait, they were coincidentally in the seven countrys that Trump has banned people from.

    I wonder why Americans are scared of the people they have tried to bomb back to the stone age. Perhaps the “violent ideologu” shoe is on the wrong foot, and if the West had never gone into these Muslim countries we would have more peace in the world.

    The constant patches over the unintended consequences never seem to solve the problem.

  5. maz

    “Nobody gave a damn when Bill Clinton signed the IIRIRA in 1996, allowing the detention and removal of legal permanent residents, those green-card holders you’re crying about today. ”

    I don’t recall Clinton’s position on this act, but — like the argument Democratic indignation over banking abuses was hypocritical, since “Clinton signed Gramm-Leach into law” — his signing it is kind of moot, given the bill passed with more than a two-thirds majority.

    1. SHG Post author

      It’s not about Clinton. Had it been Reagan, it would be the same point. Just because you’re obsessed with your team doesn’t make it about your team.

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