For now, Trump has seen a new iteration of his immigration ban put in place. I know everyone is tired of hearing about this, but I also know no one will let up on the fight to block this entirely, right? We’re not giving up, are we? Okay, good.
So, what’s happening now?
Well, the Supreme Court has decided to allow a much narrower scope to be put in place until they rule in finality in October. The new rule? People coming here must have what’s going a “bona fide relationship” with someone already here.
The White House also put out an approved list of relatives that count as “close.” The following relatives do not count as close enough:
- Further extended family
Those are who count are:
- Child or Adult-aged Child
- Siblings, including step siblings
- Other step-relations of the above
In short, what I see this meaning is you can have your immediate family or the immediate family of your spouse vouch for you. Anyone who doesn’t traditionally live in the home doesn’t count.
Now, as we know, in many countries, the immediate family is not the same as the nuclear family. In many countries, for economic, cultural, child-rearing and other reasons, grandparents are very important, as is an uncle. There may often be a rich relative who is taking up a temporary role as a patriarch in the family due to his or her ability to provide. Therefore, separation from this individual is equivalent to separation from a father or someone in the ‘traditional’ household.
It’s clear that Donald Trump is ignorantly defining the true definition of a household structure, deciding that your grandparents couldn’t or shouldn’t be the ones raising you in America even if your parents can’t raise you. Moreover, he’s saying that your parents can come to America if their parents are here, but then you must wait until they are settled, and then you can come, thus separating you from your parents and disincentivizing the parents from coming here. In short, he’s found a way to prevent people from coming by legally allowing them to come via procedures that they cannot emotionally endure or economically endure if a distant relative has taken up the reins to support the family because that distant relative is not considered a relative.
What are the security implications here?
First of all, there are some cases in which people try to fake papers in order to say they are related when they are not. Now they’ll have to say that they are related in a certain way. Moreover, the incidence of the language “bona fide” seems to imply that the U.S. government will go about deciding whether the relationship is, in fact, real. In other words, those papers will be scrutinized more than they were before because the law now says that various agencies–DHS, CBP, and others–all instructed to verify the relationship as being what those papers say it is.
This is far better than what we had before, which was a blanket ban in which all innocent people were treated as criminals. In fact, it was only not racist from a racist’s point of view. Trump decided it wasn’t worth treated them like humans because some of them were bad. Now, he’s found a way to block them legally by creating loopholes that barely pass the smell test at the Supreme Court enough to put it into effect until their official review when they’re back in session in October.
Now, the verification process may improve under this rule, meaning that we won’t be asking much of the travelers’ home countries, just that they verify the veracity of the relationship of the traveler and the person already here. We just want to make sure that the people coming in are good people, and the assumption of innocence is being taken advantage of. So, the goal is to never abridge or even temporarily suspend the freedoms of the innocent, but Trump has not found a way to do that other than to make the process really hard. In doing so, he may have found a way to verify the relationship, which will help to determine that the person coming in is good. However, he has failed to understand that the way you determine whether someone is an upstanding citizen is not simply based on the integrity of their parents. Moreover, we often pick up more traits from our other relatives and friends than from our parents, especially during our rebellious stages in adolescence. Therefore, Trump may actually be making things worse by separating kids from more virtuous grandparents and allowing impressionable kids to radicalize because only their parents can stop them and they won’t listen at that age.
What does this do to relations with these countries?
Forget about it. Relations with these countries are destroyed. They are lining up with China, which is a mistake, but they are doing so as a retaliation against the United States because they haven’t gotten the support they wanted. Whether we could have provided that support is for a different post altogether because some of their governments are wholly destructive to their people, but they are now aligning with China and others to try to improve their economies, security, and regional relations with other countries that are aligning with China.
What can we do to fix this?
We can keep fighting to get enough Democrats in power to overturn the ruling. We can keep establishing friendship-based relations like what is advocated at a great volunteer organization called United Planet, with whom I volunteered twice in Tibet and China. We can operate businesses that link up with these countries in order to support them economically. We can continue to protest.
The most important thing we can do is focus on 2018. If you’re like me, you looked at the calendar and freaked out because Saturday is July! So, this year is going back FAST! So we can make it to November 2018. For more information on predicting the 2018 election, go to 538.com.
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