Muslim ban 2.0 will meet the same resistance in the streets and in the courts
“The repackaging of Trump’s Muslim ban does nothing to undo its fundamentally repugnant character as an act of state-sponsored bigotry.” That was CCR’s official response to today’s do-over of the Muslim ban. Trump and his advisers have not bothered to conceal their prejudice, and last week’s revelation that the Department of Homeland Security itself assessed it to be worthless in stopping potential terrorists from entering the U.S. only underscored the ban’s obvious discriminatory intent. Minor adjustments in the language will not alter the ban’s fundamentally repugnant character as an act of state-sponsored bigotry and it will meet the same resistance as the first one, in the streets as well as the courts.
Trump’s first Muslim ban was responsible for grave harm to thousands of individuals whose lives and families were upended, and CCR filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general in response. Meanwhile, the administration’s words and actions alike have encouraged the predictable violence and harassment of those labeled “other” with deadly consequences. Two weeks ago a white man yelled “get out of my country” and opened fire on two Indian immigrants in a Kansas bar, killing one of them and injuring the other as well as a bystander who intervened. The White Nationalist House was silent in response (as it was after the attack on a Quebec mosque that killed six people), and only issued a statement under fire a week later.
The same is true for the administration’s reaction to the rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes. Schools, cemeteries, and Jewish community centers have been vandalized, graffitied with swastikas, and threatened, and while Muslim Americans have responded in solidarity and raised funds to restore gravestones, official administration response again came only after intense pressure. Trump himself, meanwhile, suggested that the attacks might be false flags.
Trump’s promise/threat to “make America great again” is a vision of white Christian nationalism, silencing, banishing, or making subservient all others.
While the Muslim ban seeks a whitening and Christianizing of the U.S. by keeping certain people out, Trump’s executive order on immigration and the regulations issued by DHS pursuant to it serve the same goal by detaining and deporting millions of predominantly brown-skinned immigrants.
CCR denounced the executive order immediately, calling it “brutal” and “a betrayal of our most important political, moral, and constitutional values.” And in January, together with our partners at the Immigration Defense Project, we published a toolkit to inform the public about ways to protect against ICE’s unlawful tactics. Meanwhile, protesters have taken to the streets by the thousands in response to stepped-up ICE raids and churches are creating networks of safe houses and sanctuary spaces.
Whereas Muslims are equated with terrorists by the administration and its followers, immigrants are equated with criminals. By sleight of hand, the White Nationalist House is redefining most undocumented immigrants as criminals. The DHS rules call for rounding up those with criminal convictions (like Guadalupe Garcia, who had used a false social security number, a necessity in order to work), those merely charged with any crime; those not yet charged with a crime (people who “have committed acts which constitute a chargeable criminal offense”); and those who “in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security” – in other words, anyone they want to.
Under these circumstances, racist policing strategies like broken windows (which intentionally targets low-level offenses like turnstile jumping) that ensnare millions in the criminal justice system become additionally a tool of Trump’s ethnic cleansing regime. Sanctuary cities like New York, which refuse to ask for or pass on immigration status information to federal authorities, thus have a long way to go before they can truly claim to be safe harbor for immigrants. Immigrant communities and rights advocates have been calling on Mayor de Blasio specifically to end the NYPD’s broken windows policy.
“Sanctuary cities must extend protection from all forms of state-sanctioned violence, especially those that overlap,” CCR Bertha Justice Institute Fellow Stephanie Llanes wrote last month in The Daily Outrage. “Radical transformation is needed and, for better or for worse, Trump’s presidency presents an opportunity to change our local and state policies—not only to reduce harm, not only to create shields, but also to create true sanctuaries.”
Resources for the Resistance
CCR maintains and regularly updates a collection of “Resources for the Resistance” that serves as a hub page for everything from protest calendars to toolkits and know-your-rights trainings to reading lists and curricula. Check it out and share it with fellow resisters!
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