TNR Brief


San Francisco (photo: The Nation Report)

Groups Respond to Trump’s Executive Actions Against the US Immigrant Population

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) responded immediately to the executive announcement by President Donald Trump about new immigration enforcement policy.

President Trump on Wednesday signed executive orders to create more immigration prisons, increase the number of border patrol agents, and would cut federal funding to sanctuary cities.

In a statement released by MALDEF, attorneys for the longstanding organization said that they are reviewing the new policy and are “preparing for what legal action may be necessary if the administration takes actual action in excess of presidential authority or that are otherwise unconstitutional or unlawful.”

The group went on to refer to Trump’s actions as “irresponsible” and that  the attempt at intimidation will prove ineffectual to deterring the work of groups over years:

“Donald Trump’s border Wall Mahal threatens to bankrupt the nation’s treasury just as Trump bankrupted his own businesses in the past through overblown construction projects. Because today’s order only commences planning, Congress has the opportunity to prevent the profligate use of federal resources to construct this monument to waste and excess.”

“Aggressive interior enforcement is an abject failure, delivering tremendous upheaval and harm to families, schools, and workplaces. The economic disruption to critical industries, such as agriculture, from such efforts render these executive orders a direct and undiluted threat to United States national security. There are serious constitutional questions about the enforcement proposals, and untoward activity will elicit court challenge. Reviving the thoroughly discredited and misnamed ‘Secure Communities’ program, which actually undermined both security and community, will not make America great again. And no amount of lipstick – through alternative facts or otherwise – will transform the pig of a program that the administration seeks to embrace.”

CIRC responded to the issues of sanctuary communities and the border wall calling the executive order racist and divisive.

“President Trump’s executive order is not only an act of racism but it divides two countries by a wall built through hate.  America has a long and proud history of providing humanitarian relief, safety, and opportunity for people to find refuge not only from physical danger, but basic human rights that are granted by our constitution.”

About the proposed de-funding of sanctuary cities, CIRC responded, 

“CIRC questions Trumps legal authority to withhold federal funding from Colorado cities and counties that are defending the constitution by refusing to detain both citizens and noncitizens without probable cause. 4th amendment cities and counties that are not cooperating with ICE to detain people in violation of the constitution are standing up for the 4th amendment rights of all Colorado Residents.”

AFSC also cited Fourth Amendment issues in cutting federal funding to municipalities, “

“Limiting collusion between ICE and local law enforcement has been an essential first step to keeping our communities and families safe from unjust deportation policies,” said AFSC Colorado’s program director, Gabriela Flora. “We’re calling on congress to respect the Fourth Amendment and oppose legislation that punishes ‘sanctuary cities.’

Humanitarian organizations such as No More Deaths of Arizona documents the number of remains found in the Sonora Desert.  AFSC says that the wall contributes to these numbers,

“For more than two decades, border wall infrastructure has contributed to the deaths of thousands of migrants fleeing poverty and violence who are forced to cross through deadly terrain,” said Pedro Rios, director of AFSC’s U.S./Mexico Border Program. “This human rights disaster will only be exacerbated with more miles of border walls and excessive, unaccountable enforcement.” While Trump’s executive action paves the way for wall construction, additional congressional action will be needed to fully fund the project. AFSC is calling on Congress to do everything in their power to stop wall construction and to protect the human rights of migrants and those in border communities.”

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