A new, deeply-researched article by Rachel Morris in HuffPost’s longform Highline makes the troubling case that despite President Trump’s failure to construct the actual promised border wall, anti-immigrant obsessives and restrictionists within the Trump administration have nonetheless managed to build an “invisible wall” to keep out immigrants:
In the two years and 308 days that Donald Trump has been president, his administration has constructed far more effective barriers to immigration. No new laws have actually been passed. This transformation has mostly come about through subtle administrative shifts—a phrase that vanishes from an internal manual, a form that gets longer, an unannounced revision to a website, a memo, a footnote in a memo. Among immigration lawyers, the cumulative effect of these procedural changes is known as the invisible wall.
… “What became clear to me early on was that these guys wanted to shut down every avenue to get into the U.S.,” the first former senior DHS official said. “They wanted to reduce the number of people who could get in under any category: illegals, legals, refugees, asylum seekers—everything. And they wanted to reduce the number of foreigners already here through any means possible.”
The story is a sobering must-read. As DHS Watch Director and former U.S. CIS Chief Counsel Ur Jaddou assesses in the story,
the sheer number of both significant and less significant changes is overwhelming … It will take an ambitious plan over a series of years to undo it all.