Whose Safety? An Early Analysis of the “Enhanced Public Safety” Executive Order

(This is the second installment of a series of articles unpacking the many executive orders issued in Donald Trump’s first week of office. Click here to read the first installment, on the Border Security Executive Order. Though I am not an immigration specialist, I am a legal generalist working with indigent populations professionally full-time. This article is not intended to form an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice, though it is my hope that it will help people understand what is going on.)

Either I love my country or I hate myself, because here I am drafting another essay at 9:45 PM. (Or both. Possibly both.) At any rate, it’s an oft-quoted maxim that the more innocuous a law’s title is, the more insidious the actual contents are— and the Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States is no exception to this rule.

There’s some familiar language from the other executive order:

Some of the provisions, however, are very different:

(b) Have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved;

(c) Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;

(d) Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;

(e) Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;

(f) Are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or

(g) In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

Some general fact-checking of note (in case it’s helpful to you, and before I rupture something):

As I mentioned above, this particular executive order contains a plethora of misinformation and downright propaganda. In the interests of clarification and also not punching nearby walls, I would like to unpack some of it for you:

As several news sources have insinuated, this is likely not the last executive order we’ll see this week on the topic of immigration. I’ll continue to write about executive orders as I am able, though I think two articles is my upper limit for one evening. If you’ll excuse me, I have a date planned with a pocket constitution and a pint of cotton candy ice cream, and I’m told it’s rude to keep either of them waiting.

Boots on the ground for social change, one step at a time.