Saturday, February 4, 2017

How I Started Worrying And Hated The Ban

The Trumpies continue to be bad at this whole "pretending to be a legitimate administration" thing and just two weeks in, they already have dropped the "pretending" part.

Hours after a federal judge ordered customs officers to provide lawyers to travelers detained at Dulles airport last Saturday, senior Trump administration officials instructed the guards to give the travelers phone numbers of legal services organizations, ignoring a mass of lawyers who had gathered at the airport.

Most of the legal services offices were closed for the weekend, effectively preventing travelers with green cards from obtaining legal advice.

The move was part of what lawyers contend was a series of foot-dragging actions by the administration that appeared to violate court orders against the Trump’s controversial travel ban.

The contempt the Trump regime has for rule of law is staggering, but what do you expect when the place is run by people who have sworn to destroy America's political, legal, and social norms in order to reshape the country?

A little over 24 hours after Trump ordered the ban, federal judges in New York, Massachusetts and Virginia issued emergency rulings blocking parts of it. But at Dulles and other airports, customs officers refused to change their procedures until their superiors conveyed instructions from agency lawyers reviewing the court decisions, according to three lawyers familiar with the situation and a congressional staff member investigating the matter.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, at least four hours after the first of the court orders came down, Todd Owen, Customs and Border Protection's executive assistant commissioner, convened a conference call for field operations to deliver new guidance, according to a person briefed on the call.

But rather than allow the detained travelers to contact lawyers waiting to serve them, Owen’s team advised CBP officers at Dulles to give the travelers phone numbers for legal-services organizations.

“This is a runaround they’re trying to do on these orders,” said Sirine Shebaya, a civil rights lawyer who was on the scene. “This is an unchecked executive that thinks it’s above the judiciary.” 

Of course they hate it.

President Donald Trump lashed out on Saturday at "this so-called judge" who put a nationwide hold on the implementation of his travel ban denying entrance to the U.S. to refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Meanwhile, federal agencies were already halting the implementation of the controversial order that appears certain to spark another weekend of protests as well as confusion for travelers and government officials.

Confronting the most serious setback of his young administration, Trump took to Twitter to complain about at the Seattle judge who halted his controversial executive order before heading to Trump International Golf Resort in West Palm Beach to hit the links.

"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" Trump tweeted, after writing several other tweets defending his immigration stance. He later added, "What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?"

Trump already attacking judges.  It's not even Valentine's Day, and we're already deep into the authoritarian playbook.

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