Trump suggests dispensing with legal due process for immigrants

Not long after parading families of victims of crimes in public displays of intolerance of illegal immigrants, vilifying them all by association (something the Nazis did with Jews), Donald Trump is now suggesting that due process in law be ignored.

Reuters: Trump calls for deportations without judicial process

President Trump said that people who enter the United States illegally should be sent back immediately to where they came from with “no judges or court cases,” likening them to invaders who are trying to “break into” the country.

“We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,” Trump said Sunday on Twitter.

“Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country. Strong Borders, No Crime!”

It could be a challenge finding out where they came from – Mexico is just the last transit country for people from Central and South America.

Critics said his proposal would violate the U.S. Constitution’s due process provision, which the Supreme Court has ruled also applies to non-citizens.

“The president of the United States has just forcefully proposed the end of political asylum and no due process for migrants,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, wrote on Twitter.

Many people coming in to the USA from Mexico already reside in the US and go back to Mexico to visit family. Will it put them at risk?

It’s not unusual for Trump to not care about the law. He is cynically playing to promote public perceptions that illegal immigrants should have no rights in the US and should all be seen as a threat to, ironically, law and order.

Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting adults for entering the country illegally entails a process that typically takes many months. That required children to be separated from parents because they are not legally allowed to be kept in detention for more than 20 days.

However, keeping the children with their migrant parents as they await court proceedings faces obstacles including lack of sufficient housing, a paucity of immigration judges and a daunting backlog of cases.

Trump appeared to grow increasingly frustrated over this quandary, and the lack of action in Congress on comprehensive immigration legislation.

Unlike presidents who can issue executive orders with the stroke of a pen Congress has it’s own processes to follow if it wants to change laws. Immigration and asylum are complex moral and legal issues that can’t be fixed in an instant to appease an impatient president.

Illegal immigration is a big problem for the US, and they have been grappling with how to deal with it for a long time. It is complicated by the widespread use of illegals for cheap labour.

The US has a right to protect it’s borders and to remove illegals if that’s what it wants to do.

But the Trump approach is growing increasingly dictatorial, and it alarmingly mimics the actions of past dictators.

 

Border control and caging kids

US border control has been in the spotlight more than ever, as a promised clampdown on illegal immigration from Mexico ramps up, and as threatened, children are being separated from parents and contained in cage-like structures.

Being tough on immigration is popular, but being heartless with kids involved is not going down so well.

As usual Donald Trump’s rhetoric is swinging wildly – From ‘I Alone Can Fix It’ to ‘Change the Laws!’

Nearly two years ago, on July 21, 2016, Donald Trump stood at a lectern in Cleveland and made a solemn vow.

“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” he said.

To his critics, this line was chilling, even authoritarian, defying the democratic nature of the American system. But to many of Trump’s supporters, it was a heartening moment—a sign that he would not allow himself to be tied up in red tape and mealy-mouthed excuses. There would be none of the vacillating and hand-wringing of the Obama administration. President Trump would not hesitate.

Candidate Trump was clear that he was talking, in large part, about immigration, which had been the central issue of his campaign:

Tonight, I want every American whose demands for immigration security have been denied—and every politician who has denied them—to listen very closely to the words I am about to say. On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced. We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone.

So Trump promised to be both tough and compassionate.

But his administration also threatened that their children would be separated if illegal immigrants tried to cross the border.

In fact, as my colleagues and I have reported repeatedly, the policy dates to May, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the federal government would prosecute everyone caught crossing the border illegally. Because an existing legal settlement bars children from being imprisoned, that decision means children and parents are separated. The Trump administration knew this would happen from the start.

In May, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly described separations as “a tough deterrent” to those who might try to cross. Sessions said around the same time, “If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally.”

There were clear warnings – those wanting to cross the border may not have heard them, but the intention was clear.

Image result for caging children usa

And now that this is being done and criticism mounts – including from Trump’s wife and all four other living ex- First Ladies – Mr Fixit is now blaming others.

Trump and the Republicans rule in the White House.

Republicans have a majority in both the Senate and Congress.

So it’s rather disingenuous to blame a clearly signalled family separation policy on the Democrats who have no power to change laws.

But that’s how Trump operates – talks a big game, but blames his political opponents or the media if things don’t look good.

The US has had very loose immigration control for a long time and a clampdown is justified. The splitting of children from parents as a threat tactic is more debatable.

But Trump hasn’t got the integrity to own his administration’s actions.

‘Caging’ kids is not even new. June 2014 (pre-Trump): Immigrant children flood detention center

Young boys sleep in a holding cell U.S. Customs and

Holding cell, US Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center, 18 June 2014.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/childrens-concentration-camp/

Trump could blame a Democrat administration for doing it too, but instead he tries to blame them now for something his administration is responsible for it.

Intercepted ship – people smuggling operation ‘had New Zealand contacts’

Last week Malaysian authorities intercepted a ship trying to smuggle 131 Sri Lankans, and have said the operation ‘had New Zealand contacts’, but an Australian refugees’ rights activist said the ship would never have reached New Zealand.

RNZ: Tanker smuggling migrants ‘never would have made it to NZ’

Malaysian authorities halted the modified tanker with 131 people on board on Tuesday and a group of Indonesains and Malaysians were arrested.

Malaysia’s national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the large-scale and cunning human smuggling syndicate had been operating for a year and had connections in New Zealand, as well as in Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

However a spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, said he doubted the ship could have gone far.

“It’s got a long way to come, even from Malaysia… and certainly the accommodation… it’s not equipped for any long distance thing.

So I think, on the face of it, there’s no possibility that it could be thinking of attempting to go to New Zealand.”

“It’s a fairly ambitious kind of operation and it’s unlikely, given the level of survellence between Indonesia and Australia, that a boat that size would make it.

He said the authorities were likely overplaying the level of complexity and contacts.

So this sounds like a long way from being a near miss.

Eventually a ship load of illegal immigrants may end up reaching New Zealand – ships travel great distances all the time, and a lot of New Zealand immigrants came here from the other side of the worlds in sailing ships.

Vigilance is needed, but it doesn’t seem to be a big concern here in New Zealand. And if some time a ship load of illegal immigrants end up making it here we just have to deal with it, as many other countries have to do.