The nation and the world recoils from the Tyrant in the West Wing, Mr. Donald Trump, who issued an illegal and unconstitutional executive order, universally decried at home and abroad as discriminatory, for barring legal immigrants with visas and green cards, without any advice beforehand from the Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection.
This executive fiat targeted predominantly Muslim nations, namely, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, while excluding other Muslim nations including those where Mr. Trump has business interests.
Mr. Trump knew that he was usurping existing immigration law passed by the U.S. Congress, and fundamental constitutional standards of fairness, targeting Muslims he had every reason to believe presented absolutely no threat to this nation because they had already been vetted and found to present no threat to the United States.
Mr. Donald Trump issued his fiat last Friday, in the late afternoon, ironically enough on Holocaust Memorial Day, guaranteeing the inhumane chaos he plainly hoped to create.
From last Friday through the weekend, our nation’s airports were in disarray with government agents offering no resistance to Mr. Trump’s lawless fiat.
Government agents seized and detained immigrants with permanent visas, sending some out of the country, denying all these immigrants access to counsel, refusing to identify who they were in order to compromise their right to counsel and to complain to the court.
Citizens swarmed airports around the world to protest, to insist they identified with that gracious lady of liberty in the New York harbor that welcomed immigrants.
The chants in the demonstration were an antidote to Mr. Trump’s fear-based xenophobia. They shouted, “No Hate, No Fear, Refugees are Welcome here.” Their voices filled the halls at airports and went out across the world to surf the social media airwaves.
Virginia Governor Terry McCauliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring came to Dulles airport to object and announce that they were working against Mr. Trump’s blanket Muslim ban.
The crowd shouted, referring to themselves, “This is what Democracy looks like.” They screamed, repeating in a singsong way, “We won’t stand for a racist ban.” Also, “Build the wall, we’ll tear it down.”
The ACLU filed papers in the federal court in Brooklyn, New York to stop Mr. Trump’s fiat, challenging the detention at JFK of two legal visa holders from Iraq, Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi.
Mr. Darweesh, 53, an electrical engineer, risked his life and limb as an interpreter for the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne, and for the 91st engineering unit at the Baghdad airport. Iraqi terrorists targeted him for associating with our armed forces. In 2014, Mr. Darweesh applied for a visa created by our Congress for any immigrant endangered by service for our nation. Mr. Darweesh was granted a visa, but was detained at JFK.
Mr. Alshawi, born in 1983, worked as an accountant for a U.S. Contractor. Insurgents believed that Mr. Alshawi was an American collaborator, tried to kidnap Ms. Alshawi’s brother, and they killed Mr. Alshawi’s brother in law. Mr. Alshawi was granted a “Follow to Join” visa to be united with his wife and 7-year-old son in America after they were admitted to the United States. But he was detained at JFK and denied access to counsel.
ACLU rightly charged that Mr. Trump’s fiat was arbitrary, violated the Immigration and Nationality Act, and contemplated returning immigrants to nation states where they may face torture or persecution; the fiat also denied any immigrant the right to make the case that they wre entitled to asylum or humanitarian protection in the United States.
U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly found “a strong likelihood of success” that Mr. Trump’s fiat “violates their [Immigrants’] rights to Due Process and Equal Protection guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” that there existed “substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa holders and other individuals,” and Judge Donnelly ordered a stay of these abhorrent practices by the Trump Administration.
In response, Nation States from around the world threatened an eye for an eye, to ban American Citizens abroad, and not just the seven states that Mr. Trump specified. France attacked Trump’s fiat as isolationist and insisted Europe unite behind a response. Germany made similar objections.
Within a week of swearing to uphold the Constitution, Mr. Trump broke his sworn oath, violated our constitution, its laws, and our nation’s promise to a world that believed that we are a tolerant people, sworn to treat all persons as equal, no matter their faith or the homeland.