President Donald Trump took immediate and counterproductive steps on Day 6 of his administration to appease the hateful, anti-immigrant faction among his supporters by announcing immediate and rapid changes to U.S. border security and immigration enforcement.
Expanding the use of local law enforcement as a tool for mass deportations of immigrants runs counter to our nation’s highest ideals and eviscerates the trust local law enforcement has cultivated and needs to keep our communities safe. North Carolina has seen this picture before, and it ends in racial profiling and violation of civil rights.
The President’s announcement of the immediate construction of a costly, ineffective, and unnecessary wall for our southern border is a sledgehammer to the Statue of Liberty and an affront to our core principles of protecting those who are fleeing unspeakable violence and persecution. This wall invites ridicule from the rest of the world as well as long-lasting animosity from our allies.
This approach, quite simply, will not work. It will have dire consequences for our nation. The right approach: living up to our tradition as a nation of immigrants and refugees. Rather than taking a conciliatory step of protecting some of the most vulnerable communities, the Trump administration is choosing fear over facts and demonizing our neighbors. In the coming days, we expect additional actions from the administration that further target these communities.
The North Carolina Justice Center will be vigilant in monitoring the impact of this executive order, especially with regards to community policing and due process rights. Regardless of who is in the White House, no one should be targeted by acts of hate or violence because of their religion, national origin, the language they speak, or their immigration status. No wall or policy from this Administration will be high enough to keep out those who seek safety and economic justice in the United States.