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In new analysis for the Washington Post, Greg Sargent connects the dots on the extreme Trump Administration agenda, predicting that the administration is testing “just how far the administration can go in limiting legal immigration and in expelling undocumented immigrants with longtime ties to U.S. communities.”
See the full version of Sargent’s must read piece here with key excerpts below:
“Miller’s comments on the Sunday shows about what is coming make this perfectly clear. Let’s take each topic in turn.
The immigration ban. Miller repeatedly said that the White House may soon offer a new version of the immigration ban that is rewritten to get around the court’s objections. Miller also lambasted the court for limiting the president’s “powers to protect our country” and predicted that it would soon become apparent that those powers “will not be questioned.”
Miller also continued to insist that the ban is necessary on national security grounds, repeatedly saying that dozens of people from the seven Muslim-majority countries had been implicated in “terroristic activity.” This is an absurd exaggeration, as Michelle Ye Hee Lee’s detailed look at the claim demonstrates. Terrorism experts say that no one in the United States has been killed in a terrorist attack carried out since 9/11 by people from those countries.
But regardless of the facts, the White House will continue to push for the ban on the grounds that migrants from that region constitute a major threat that Americans should fear. Taken together, Miller’s comments signal that, if the White House does manage to get a version of the ban past legal hurdles, it will have demonstrated that Trump’s powers “will not be questioned,” meaning that the judiciary will not stand in his way.
There is simply no reason to assume in advance that this will end here. Trump himself campaigned on a vow to ban Muslims, and multiple top Trump advisers believe we are locked in an apocalyptic global showdown with radical Islam. So the possibility cannot be ruled out that Trump could seek to extend the ban and expand it, in effect trying to simulate an indefinite ban on legal immigration from many Muslim-majority nations — particularly if there is a major terrorist attack.
The stepped-up deportation raids. The latest reports indicate that as many as 600 people have been swept up in new deportation raids across at least 11 states, and immigration advocates say that the raids are targeting low-level offenders, and not just the people convicted of crimes that had previously been the priority. As the New York Times notes, it remains unclear whether this is merely stepped-up enforcement-as-usual or whether it reflects a deliberate expansion in the direction of the mass deportations that Trump promised.
“Their public statements leave it ambiguous as to whether they will go after non-criminals, in hopes of scaring undocumented immigrants into self deporting,” Frank Sharry of America’s Voice tells me. “Meanwhile, given how broadly the executive order has been drawn, it may be a blueprint for a full-blown mass deportation strategy later.”
The common thread here is fear. Americans should fear migrants from the countries Trump has decided to ban immigration from, a group that very well may be expanded later. And undocumented immigrants who haven’t committed other crimes should fear that, yes, they may indeed be targets of deportation soon enough. These policies may well be initial test runs designed to see how far the White House can get, thus laying the groundwork for a much broader push later, which is hardly an outlandish possibility, since, after all, Trump actually did campaign on banning Muslims and on carrying out mass deportations.
All of this is to say that the goal of liberals and Democrats isn’t merely stopping the immigration ban and the escalation of deportations right now. It’s also to prevent those policies from expanding into something much worse later — which forceful resistance now may succeed in doing.”