In anti-immigrant actions released on Tuesday, Donald Trump declared war on America. Whether he is calculating or crazy, he is unfit for the office of President of the United States. If we cannot remove him, we must resist him.
Angry at the courts for blocking his ban on Muslims entering the United States, furious at the press for reports that he calls fake but are all too accurate, Donald Trump, a man psychologically incapable of listening to or working with others, is striking out at some of the most vulnerable people in the nation – immigrants so desperate for a better life that they put themselves and their families at great risk to come to this country and become Americans.
Trump directed federal offices to take extreme measures against undocumented immigrants declaring war on America values and large swathes of American people. Trump ordered aggressive enforcement of immigration laws with threats to unleash massive federal force to locate, arrest, incarcerate and deport undocumented immigrants. Documents released by Homeland Security revealed Trump’s plans to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment by inflating claims of criminal behavior. He is calling for the formation of a 10,000-member anti-immigrant armed force, the use of local police to support enforcement of his directives, new detention centers to facilitate mass arrests, frightening away asylum seekers and accelerating deportations before legal measures can be taken to stop him.
A New York Times editorial declared the Trump vendetta an assault on “sensible immigration policies” and “American values.”
Homeland Security officials announced that “Dreamers,” young people brought to the United States as children, will not be targeted unless they commit crimes. But because they entered the country illegally, or if they work off-the-books or without a valid social security number, they are already “criminals” subject to deportation. A Homeland Security memo stated “All of those present in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention, and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”
It is yet to be determined whether Trump has also declared war on law. Swift action against accused individuals never convicted of crimes may violate 14th Amendment Constitutional due process protection, guaranteed all people, not just citizens. Courts in Illinois, Oregon and Pennsylvania previously rejected federal attempts to have local and state law enforcement have undocumented immigrants picked up for minor infractions held beyond their scheduled release.
Republicans and Democrats in public office have critical choices to make. Will they abide by dictatorial decrees or resist through legal channels and join civil disobedience in defense of the United States and American values?
What is going to happen as a result of the Trump directives?
Anticipate safe-haven sanctuaries for immigrants set up in churches, synagogues and mosques and on college campuses across the nation. Anticipate shutdowns and human barricades that may escalate into pushing, shoving and worse as Trump orders local police to uproot and arrest law abiding families – many with children who are American citizens by birth. Anticipate unprecedented street battles between Trump supporters and opponents.
Expect waves of non-violent civil disobedience paralyzing businesses and cities. Expect protests closing down colleges. Expect government officials, court officers and police to say no when called on to enforce injustice. Expect international condemnation.
I will be at sanctuaries defending my neighbors. I expect to see our senators, representatives, state and city officials standing with us. Democrat or Republican, if they do not stand with us now they should resign. The future of the country is at stake.
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Alan Singer is a Professor of Teaching, Learning and Technology at Hofstra University.
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