As you probably know by now, Trump issued an executive order on Friday that barred citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days.
By itself, this is terrible. It is a solution to a problem we don't even have. The 9/11 attackers were not from any of these countries. None of the terrorist attacks that killed people since 9/11 were carried out by people from these countries. There have been eleven total people arrested on terrorism charges who were from Somalia, Iraq, Iran, or Yemen. No one from Syria, Libya, or Sudan. No one who was involved with a terrorist attack that killed any one. I mean, the plan to build a border wall is mind-numbingly stupid and expensive boondoggle that will do nothing to deter illegal immigration, but at least illegal immigration actually happens. This is an expensive boondoggle that harms people who've helped us fight wars on foreign soil (like Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an Iraqi who worked for the U.S. Army for 10 years as an interpreter) in the name of stopping a threat that doesn't even exist. This executive order, right here, is why I was done with Trump before 2015 was over. Because he said he'd do this (well, specifically, he said he'd keep Muslims from coming to the U.S. so THIS IS JUST THE START, GUYS, IT GETS WORSE) and it was a terrible idea then and it's a terrible reality now.
But it's actually even worse as a reality, because the executive order went into effect immediately. So people who were already in transit to the US were detained or deported on arrival. And the policy is being applied haphazardly and unevenly because the people on the ground aren't sure exactly what they're enforcing (does this apply to people who come from those countries but aren't citizens of them? What if they have dual citizenship? What if they're citizens of the barred country but not coming from that country? People with green cards aren't exempt, are they? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) Various courts have issued stays to prevent the application of the order in their jurisdiction. Numerous Twitter accounts report that Customs and Border Protection is in some cases subverting or ignoring those orders:
This is astonishing from same lawyer friend on the ground at Dulles. CBP basically creating travel ban black sites pic.twitter.com/UjZXFpKoCH— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) January 29, 2017
I recognize that Twitter information is fast but not necessarily accurate. One of the Wall Street Journal articles linked above also reports that, per ACLU lawyers, the court orders are not being honored consistently. More specifically, the Huffington Post reports that Dulles airport security and the CBP are not complying with court orders.
Two people at SFO, one at Dulles, and two at JFK face "imminent deportation” because CBP won't comply with court order, advocates say.— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 29, 2017
So far, this crap has convinced me to set up a recurring donation to the ACLU (which I've been meaning to do since the election, granted) and to get a new subscription to the Wall Street Journal, because the WSJ is my favorite paper and I really need to get my news from a more reliable source than Twitter.
I'm hoping the "CBP refuses to comply with court orders" issues are less "deliberate obstruction" and more "chaos and exhaustion as hundreds of CBP employees try to figure out exactly how a 3000-word order applies to the hundreds of possibly-affected people, while also dealing with protesters and angry families and armies of lawyers and the occasional Congressional representative."
But the truth is, even if the immediate negative effects of enforcement are exaggerated, I am still angry and this is still awful. The Koch network, not noted for their liberal views, weighed in against the ban on refugees . Back in 2015, even Dick Cheney pointed out what a terrible idea it was. So if you're a conservative and thinking "well, I guess this is what my team wants so I have to support this": no, you really don't. It's a bad idea that is against American interests, harms thousands of people, and does absolutely nothing to prevent terrorism. It's okay to speak out against it.
Also, if you can afford it, donations to the ACLU and other organizations that will fight for our constitutional rights would be a particularly good idea at the moment. Assorted celebrities are matching ACLU donations at the moment, so you might be able to make you money count more than once.