Government officials, stop freaking hating people! Start representing us—thoughtfully, kindly, constitutionally.
The text of the executive order of the “president” is here, with the helpful annotated version done by The New York Times here. The evocation of 9/11 and terrorism at the beginning of the text is deeply problematic because, of course, it links individuals and families simply seeking better lives to terrorism and prioritizes Christians over Muslims. The latter is a clear violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. Thank goodness many of the nation’s lawyers are on this.
The annotated version of the executive order, written by Adam Liptak of The New York Times, highlights the following problematic issues: (1) the invocation of 9/11; (2) going against the nation’s founders’ belief in immigration; (3) the insistence that non-U.S. citizens support the Constitution; (4) the overreach of executive power; (5) targeting seven specific nations; (6) the possible expansion of the list of countries barred; (7) the prohibition on the entrance of all refugees, but with greater consideration given to Christian individuals than to Muslim individuals; (8) expansion on the ban of Syrian refugees. This is not only the expression of profound Islamophobia, but also a dangerous break with the Constitution and with diplomatic relationships developed over many years.
In this The Washington Post piece, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) states: “The primary duty of the federal government is to keep Americans safe. Today, President Trump has begun to fulfill this responsibility by taking a number of critical steps within his authority to strengthen national security and the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.” (Goodlatte also proudly touts this statement on his own website.)
Let’s parse this hypernationalist, Islamophobic, state surveillance rhetoric. The first item listed in the U.S. Constitution is that “We the People” will establish Justice. Separating people by religion (or by national origin, race, sex, gender, parental status, etc.) and then limiting rights or liberties is antithetical to our constitutional tenets of fairness and justice. And so the question is, which Americans does Goodlatte think he is keeping safe? This racist, paternalistic language has got to go.
As for this “responsibility” of the “president” “within his authority,” we will rely on lawyers and legal scholars to knock down this ban as a dangerous overreach of executive authority.
Goodlatte links national security to immigration, but doesn’t acknowledge that the United States has experienced terrorist attacks from “homegrown” (right here in apple-pie USA) terrorists. This CNN piece points out, too, that there have been, count ‘em, ZERO attacks committed by refugees in the United States. Goodlatte also fails to comment that, since 9/11, not one terrorist attack on U.S. soil has been carried out by anyone from the seven countries listed in the ban (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen). Goodlatte neglects to say that the “president” and his family also have no business dealings in these seven countries and therefore have protected their own businesses from retribution.
That is a lot left unsaid. It’s time for Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, to step up, state the facts, and uphold our nation’s Constitution.
Goodlatte—qué mala leche.