Oops, He Did It Again
by Elena GrecoTypical reading time: 3 minutes
January 29, 2017Well, he’s done it again. Without warning, Trump issued an executive order, implemented immediately, to prevent travelers from seven countries to the US from entering the US through its airports, in many cases sending them back to the country they flew into the US from, even if they were long-time residents here legally and even if they had a US visa or a green card which allowed them to live and work in the US. It seems that most responses to the instant ban on travelers entering the US from seven countries, supposedly because they’re Muslim or possibly terrorists—although Saudi Arabia, where the 9/11 terrorists came from, is strangely not included in the ban—respond only to the unsavoriness of banishing people or denying them entry to our country based on religion, a wholey un‑American idea. But I think there is a much more urgent element in this latest reckless action. I agree that the action itself is morally reprehensible and unacceptable, but on the immediate front I am more concerned about the manner in which this order was implemented. No forethought about American families and workers. For one thing, there was seemingly no forethought as to how that ban might affect those who have lived in our country for years or even decades as green card holders. There was no consideration of how it might affect married couples, if one of them was from one of the seven countries and happened to travel to it and then return to the US. People who were originally from those seven countries, but have lived in the US and been employed by US companies legally for years were stopped upon returning from a visit to their original country and denied re-entry without any prior warning. People born in those countries who have lived in the US for years and even become US citizens whose relatives from their mother country attempted to visit them in the US, even with official visas, were stopped upon arrival (rather than before departing) and prevented from entering the country, without any warning. People who were born in the seven countries but who are married to US-born US citizens and who have green cards were denied re-entry to the US to be with their spouse and family after visiting their country of birth, without any warning. Families have been split up, with a US-born American child stuck in, for example, Iran, with its green card holding mother who is married to a US citizen. The American child cannot re-enter its own country or be with its father.
From The Intercept: “A Texas resident named Stephanie Felten who contacted The Intercept said that her sister-in-law, an Iranian green card holder who has lived in Chicago for over a decade, was stranded in Iran after traveling there last week to visit family. With her in Iran is her three-year old daughter, an American citizen, who now has no way to return to the United States with her mother. Iran has promised a reciprocal ban on American citizens traveling there, effectively making it impossible for the child to see her father or the rest of her family.
“’Nobody is providing any answers right now,’ said Felten. ‘We’re just trying to confirm what we’re hearing. You can read the executive order and try to make determinations but then news breaks that even people that are dual citizens are being turned away. Everyone is unsure where to turn. My family have become refugees from my country.’”No communication with governmental authorities. Of equal concern, there was virtually no communication with the authorities who would be implementing this order prior to putting it in effect, without any warning, resulting in chaos throughout our airports.
From The Intercept: “On Saturday, reports emerged that the Trump administration denied the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice input on the drafting of the order. While the visa revocations described by the immigration official we interviewed suggest that some CBP officials had indications of what was coming, there were also reports that even among career immigration and State Department officials, ‘nobody has any idea what is going on,’ NBC News reported.
“A State Department official confirmed this account to The Intercept. ‘De facto, we were not consulted, not how we’d normally be consulted. We had less than a day to review vague details…. This normally takes weeks of conversation. This EO took hours, and we never, never saw the final draft.’No warning and no communication, with resultant loss of time, money and reputation to American citizens. There was no communication or warning whatsoever by Trump or his Administration with (1) airports, (2) Customs authorities and screening agents at the airports, (3) mayors of major cities, (4) Homeland Security or (5) the Department of Justice, just to mention a few, prior to ordering this instant change in the law that affected thousands of people traveling through our airports. This action jammed US airports, preventing travel and snarling transportation at and around the airports and consequently around the world. Protests erupted at airports, costing major cities large amounts of manpower and money for security. US companies who employ people with green cards are losing large sums of money because their employees cannot return from travelling and help the companies fulfill contracts. This will cost many US citizens lost time and money. In short,
- the lack of forethought as to consequences,
- the lack of communication with all who needed to understand the order and how to effect it, and
- the lack of planning for dealing with the consequences of implementing this order
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