The so-called Muslim Ban 2.0 modifies and replaces the original, which was suspended last month by a federal court, to avoid another injunction. The executive order suspends all refugee admissions for four months and reduces the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. from 110,000 to 50,000 per year. It also prohibits Syrians, Iranians, Somalis, Libyans, Yemenis and Sudanese from entering the U.S.
The prohibition on Iraqis, however, has been removed, an amendment that occurred after marked protests from the government in Baghdad, which remains a “strategic ally” in America’s operations in the Middle East. Arbitrary discrimination isn’t conducive to that relationship.
The ban on Iraqis had caused quite a stir, especially among veterans. U.S. Army collaborators, including translators during operations in Iraq, had been promised asylum. But last month, despite having travel documents in hand, some were refused visas upon arrival at the airport.
But the “protection” for Iraqis simply underlines the arbitrariness of the decree. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday recited the official justification: “It is the president’s solemn duty to protect the American people,” a motive predicated on the fallacy of the “immigrant terrorist.”
The fact, rather, is that almost all the attacks recorded since Sept. 11 were committed by individuals born in America or radicalized in the U.S. In Trumpist optics, however, it is not policy that counts but demagogic consistency, and the interdiction of Muslim immigrants falls (as the White House doesn’t tire of repeating) in line with promises made to the voters.
This second version of the decree will enter into force in 10 days to avoid the chaos that previously resulted at airports, and it should not affect those who have already obtained a visa or who have a green card for permanent residence.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has, however, announced that it will head back to court to stop the new decree. The “improvements” simply re-propose the same xenophobic and demagogic law.
A cornerstone of the social eugenics project outlined by Trump adviser Steve Bannon is that immigration is part of a concerted strategy aimed at threatening “the Judeo-Christian identity of the West.” Another aspect of that program is taking place simultaneously: the expulsion of illegal immigrants, an unprecedented operation with potentially devastating economic and social consequences.
In this regard, the administration continues to increase tensions in states with high Hispanic immigration, such as Texas and California, where the expulsions of “illegals” is sowing panic in undocumented communities. There are about 12 million irregular migrants, many of whom are laborers — specters of a shadow economy upon whom national economic growth is predicated.
Many families have lived in the U.S. for decades, and that includes about one million students who grew up in America and benefited from a moratorium imposed by Obama. Now they are liable to be deported to countries they do not know.
For them the advent of Trump was a tragedy. To get a sense of the trauma this has caused, there’s a startup company in California developing an app called RedadAlertas, programmed to alert users in real time when immigration agents are conducting raids.
Meanwhile, 300 companies are reportedly interested in bidding for tenders on the construction of the border wall with Mexico. For Trump’s pharaonic endeavor, a monument to the new ethnic isolationism of the melting pot, the price tag is in the neighborhood of $30 billion.
The colossal federal contract will have all the usual features of an American megaproject: the band of military contractors, such as Raytheon and Bexel; construction and cement companies (excluding the Mexican multinational Cemex); and contractors like Caddell, specializing in embassies and private prisons (another “protected” sector in the Trump regime).