Issued on January 25, 2017
This executive order states that its primary goal is to more faithfully execute immigration laws to ensure public safety, and it provides three major changes to current policy to do so. Firstly, the order vastly expands the group of undocumented immigrants prioritized for deportation from the previous standard of presenting a threat to public safety and national security to any immigrant who has been charged with a crime, received a public benefit, or not met their legal obligation to leave the country, among other large categories. Secondly, law enforcement officers are now expected to act as immigration officers, pursuing the detainment of any suspected undocumented immigrant. Lastly, the order includes a threat to cut off funding to localities that refuse to enforce federal immigration law (commonly referred to as sanctuary cities). LEARN MORE
This bill threatens to remove, swiftly and with priority, millions of undocumented immigrants who have a positive impact on the American economy, and may be firmly rooted in their communities. Additionally, parts of this order are counterproductive for public safety and are potentially illegal. While President Trump prioritizes ‘law and order’ in his rhetoric, law enforcement officials have noted that they are afraid of the effect that this order will have on the ability to conduct domestic investigations, since needed witnesses and tipsters may be afraid to interact with law enforcement for fear of deportation. The Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government cannot compel state or local officials to enforce federal law or impose conditions on grants to states and local governments unless originally stated in the law so that States can choose whether or not to accept the funds. Thus, the part of the order pertaining to sanctuary cities would likely be thoroughly tested in court if enacted. LEARN MORE
- Town Hall Project – This project compiles the open-to-the-public events held by state and local representatives. This provides a great opportunity to tell them that a border wall is not a prudent use of taxpayer money. You can also dial 1-844-6-RESIST to be redirected to the office of your local member of Congress.
- Local Options for Protecting Immigrants – This document hosted by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights notes what steps local governments can take to protect immigrants against federal government actions.
- Petition to End the Detention of Families and Asylum Seekers – Sign this petition, created in a joint effort by a number of major non-profit organizations.
- Resistance Manual – Crisis Resources – If you know someone who is facing immigration troubles, please share this compendium of legal resources and relevant nonprofit organizations with them.
This brief was compiled by Oliver Bjornsson. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.