Immigration Executive Orders Motivate Resistance in Communities

President Trump has been issuing a record number of executive orders and presidential memoranda.   His third and fourth executive orders, issued days prior to the refugee order, relate to border security and public safety/enforcement aspects of immigration.  The orders as written represent massive changes to current policy in the United States.  State government officials and community leaders are fighting back hard against implementation of the orders due to the hardship and harm it would bring upon people and entire communities.

The first executive order on border security orders immediate construction of a border wall. Congress will be the body that ultimately approves or does not approve funding to build the wall. Even if funding for the wall is secure, building a border wall is a change that would face big legal hurdles in the courts on many fronts, like from conflicts with current international trade agreements for example.

The president is also considering imposing a 20% tax on traded products from Mexico in order to pay for the wall.  As reported in the Denver Post, the idea is not settling in for communities in rural Colorado, as ranchers, manufacturer’s and natural gas producers in Colorado will be hurt the most by a high tax on purchased goods and other drastic changes to U.S. trade policy with Mexico.

The public safety/enforcement order raises serious constitutional concerns for state and local government and police.  As written, the order would require local police to investigate, apprehend, and deport undocumented people.  State and community officials argue that is the job of federal officers, not local police.

The New York Times detailed how Mayors across the country are outraged and vow to defy the orders. In the Denver Post, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper declared fierce opposition based on constitutional and State’s rights. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) vowed to utilize their resources in court and advocate against the ideals the president is attempting to implement as policy.

Some of the fights will take place in court.  Some fights will take place in congress.  The public pressures will inevitably turn to each state’s elected senators and representatives in congress as to whether they support the executive orders of the President and the changes they represent.  Governors and Mayors will continue to be vocal on the issues because of the potential impacts to the states they govern and the people they care about.

Local protests have also been erupting across the nation in response to many of the President’s actions.  The pressure of citizen protests can be a powerful force in getting these types of policy reversed.  That is what protesters and leaders are hoping for as they encourage civic engagement and resistance to the executive orders.