The four remaining draft orders obtained by Vox focus on immigration, terrorism, and refugee policy. They wouldn't ban all Muslim immigration to the US, breaking a Trump promise from early in his campaign, but they would temporarily ban entries from seven majority-Muslim countries and bar all refugees from coming to the US for several months. They would make it harder for immigrants to come to the US to work, make it easier to deport them if they use public services, and put an end to the Obama administration program that protected young "DREAMer" immigrants from deportation.
In all, the combined documents would represent one of the harshest crackdowns on immigrants — both those here and those who want to come here — in memory.
The draft executive order limiting immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries, formally titled, "Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals," suspends entry into the United States from selected countries starting 30 days after the executive order's issuance.
On the campaign trail, Trump made comments about banning Muslims from the United States. This order is reminiscent of that promise but falls far short of it, as most Muslim-majority countries, including the most populous ones (Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan), are not included on the list of barred countries.
The countries in question are those included in the State Department's list of terrorism-sponsoring countries (Iran, Sudan, and Syria), those designated by the Department of Homeland Security as countries of concern (Libya, Somalia, and Yemen), and Iraq, which is specially designated in the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, the law from which the executive order gets its list of barred countries. (Syria is specially designated too, but it’s already banned due to the terrorism list.)
That law simply limited travel from countries whose residents normally don't need a visa to visit the US (which tend to be rich countries like the UK, France, and Germany) if they had previously traveled to a country of concern, like Iran or Yemen or Iraq. Trump's executive order uses that list and bars all immigration from those countries outright.
As this ban is being implemented, the secretary of homeland security, along with the secretary of state and director of national intelligence, is instructed to evaluate which countries do and don't provide enough information about visa applicants for the US to vet them for terrorism risk. Any countries that don't provide enough information, according to the secretary of homeland security, will be given 60 days to start doing so. After those 60 days, the secretary of homeland security will provide to the president a list of any countries still judged to not be providing enough information. The president will then issue a proclamation prohibiting nationals of those countries from entering the United States. This list will replace the one based on the 2015 law.
That's just the first order, widely expected today: A moratorium on all refugees, a revocation of visas from selected countries (even spouses of US citizens) and a complete ban on entry from these countries starting on or about March 1. It's madness and the list omits Saudi Arabia, where the 9/11 attackers were based, and this list will only grow.
And that's just the start.
Another apparent order draft, titled “Ending unconstitutional executive amnesties,” would end a major Obama program that has effectively protected more than 740,000 unauthorized immigrants from deportation since 2012.
This program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA — was aimed at people who came to the US when they were younger than 16 years old, who either had pursued or were pursuing education and had no felony convictions, among other conditions. It let them get temporary protection from deportation and permits to work in the US.
But the order would end the DACA program. Now, it says that work permits already issued under the program will remain valid. However, these permits are all already set to expire at some point in the next two years, and once they expire, they will not be renewed, according to the order. Starting very soon, a trickle of immigrants would start to lose their DACA protections — and by January 2019, barring a policy reversal or an act of Congress, all of them would.
Even while still protected by DACA, the order says, the government will not grant them “advance parole.” That means that should they leave the country, they would not be allowed to return.
Finally, this draft order would also put the nail in the coffin of Obama’s 2014 attempt to extend that program to cover a broader group of unauthorized immigrants — DAPA — which had already been blocked in court. All in all, if implemented, the order would roll back President Obama’s most significant legacy on immigration.
In other words, the Trump regime is planning to take information on three-quarters of a million people and almost certainly use it to start rounding them up and deporting them. Between this and the sanctuary city order yesterday, the path of mass deportations is very painfully clear here.
The other two orders are designed to limit legal immigration into the US, the first by completely changing the way L1 and H1-B visas work, and to crack down on foreign students at US colleges and universities, and the second would deny public government services to undocumented immigrants and to anyone on visas and deport them if they are receiving any government benefits whatsoever.
In other words, the US is closing its doors over the next few days. This is not the America I grew up in anymore.