On the fifth day, the strongman dealt with immigration.
His executive orders will block refugees from “high-risk countries,” penalize disobedient cities and authorize the construction of the border wall, formalizing the war on foreigners in the “nation of immigrants” and keeping true to the tenets of the populist demagoguery that helped Trump usurp the White House.
The actions announced during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security cover several fronts. The first suspends the issuance of visas to nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, a mostly symbolic move given that in practice visas issued in those countries are already almost nonexistent. It also halts the resettlement of Syrian refugees, which isn’t as cruel as it is laughable since the number of Syrians accepted to the U.S. is a fraction of what other countries have accepted.
Last year, the U.S. granted asylum to 10,000 Syrians. In the same period, more than one million have arrived in Europe. Neighboring Canada, with a population of one-tenth of the United States, has welcomed 30,000. But these data do not enter into the popular narrative, which would suggest a great tide of suspected terrorists crossing the border without restriction, swelling the ranks of ISIS sleeper cells in American cities. Obviously, this is blatantly false: The asylum process is extremely thorough and involves several layers of intense scrutiny and interviews.