Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Muslim ban is now on

The Trump/Republican/white nationalist effort to make this a less generous, less welcoming, and less cosmopolitan country got a boost yesterday when appeals courts allowed much of Muslim Ban 3.0 to go into force. The regime can now legally prevent citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from visiting this country, unless these people have a "bona fide relationship" through family or some entity here.

The New York Times takes a sanguine view of how "relationship" will be interpreted.

... the administration, which continues to appeal the lower court’s ruling, believes that the ban “should be allowed to take effect in its entirety,” regardless of whether someone has a tie to the United States.

It is unclear how many people who enter the United States have ties to the country. In general, people who come with an immigrant visa have a familial relation that enabled them to qualify for a green card, or legal permanent residency. Students and people with job offers would most likely be considered to have a tie to a United States organization, but those who come for vacation or medical care would not.

Since the administration doesn't want any of these people -- these scary brown Muslims -- I see no reason to assume they'll enforce their newly ratified powers to exclude with any scrupulous care or human decency.

Dara Lind, who covers migration issues sensitively for Vox, takes a jaundiced view how the court-approved ban will be implemented:

The two groups who will be most affected by ban 3.0 — just like they were by ban 2.0 — are tourists and refugees.

Refugees, according to a Trump administration decision that the courts haven’t overturned, don’t count as having a “bona fide” relationship with a US organization — even though every refugee is placed with a US resettlement organization that agrees to sponsor them before they arrive.

... The current travel ban, like its predecessor, will be enforced far from American shores. It will happen just as quietly, if not more so, as travel ban 2.0 did. And the courts are beginning to assume that this is, for the moment, a constitutionally acceptable outcome.

Once again, those of us who don't want to betray the country's better angels and who refuse to allow ourselves to be cut off from the wide world will have to depend on legal advocacy institutions to chip away at the worst arbitrary bigotry. The regime wants to wear out the lawyers who defend openness; it needs to wear out all of us who resist. We can't let them.

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