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Trump’s Authoritarianism, Heartily Endorsed by the GOP, Fully on Display in Retribution Directed at New York

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Welcome to Trump’s first move post-acquittal. In a chilling development, the Trump administration is exploiting taxpayer-funded government levers to punish the state of New York for welcoming immigrants. 

DHS has suspended the ability of New Yorkers to join Global Entry as retribution for a range of common-sense, pro-immigrant policies enacted by the state. Frank Sharry, Executive Director for America’s Voice responds: 

Many have expressed concern that Trump and his team, now acquitted of abuse of power, will interpret the acquiescence of Senate Republicans as a green light to abuse power with impunity. Well, if you’re looking for a sign of things to come from an emboldened and vengeful President Trump, look no further than the DHS attack on New York for enacting policies that welcome immigrants.

The retribution against New York has all the hallmarks of Trumpian authoritarianism: bullying in the service of domination politics, cruelty towards racial and ethnic minorities, the corrupt use of government for political ends, and the desire to punish voters and jurisdictions that don’t bend the knee to him. 

In New York, he is attempting to pit the business community that relies on Global Entry against immigrant communities that are celebrating newly-enacted freedoms. We have a prediction: it won’t work. In New York and other diverse states, most are proud of their history and identity as gateways to generations of new immigrants, and are appalled by Trump’s divisiveness and corruption. New Yorkers want policies that serve one and all, including immigrants, and will not give in to the bullying from hacks in the DHS leadership. 

Expect more of these ugly, punitive and transactional shakedowns, especially in the arena of immigration. After all, given Trump’s relentless war on immigrants and refugees, this is their testing ground for his dictatorship-in-the-making.