I am in favor of more immigration that the US currently allows. If you asked me if we should stop issuing visas to citizens of certain countries, I would say no. But if I lost, well, the government does lots of stuff I dislike, that’s the price of living in a democracy rather than a dictatorship run by me.
Preventing existing visa and green card holders from reentering the country is not the same. People built their lives around a promise from America, and we yanked it away with no chance to adjust. Newborns have been separated from their parents. People who endangered their lives helping the US Military are going to be left among people who wish to kill them. We did not even have the decency to give enough notice to prevent people from getting on a plane to a country that would not let them in.
This is not border security, this is punishing people for cooperating with us and trusting us. The net effect of this is that people will do those things less. Honestly, this is probably the point. Even though the order was overturned in 24 hours, even though it’s probably illegal, even if the next president does everything he can to welcome immigrants, there will be a chilling effect. To the extent that foreign terrorists living in the US constitute a problem this does not touch it at all, because terrorists are not putting down roots. Trump didn’t kick out anyone actually in the US, and terrorists probably don’t go back and forth much for this exact reason.
I didn’t participate in the women’s march last week, because it’s not my thing and I didn’t see the point. I went to the SFO airport protest today, despite coming off of a week of travel and really not feeling like it, because it had a specific, actionable demand that would have concrete effects, and would be a return to the status quo, not a new action. It worked– but not by much. People who were on planes when the ban came through are not being sent home, but they may be kept in detention.
For the benefit of any Republican strategists reading this: I am not a liberal, I am not a Democrat. I voted for Johnson. You want me in your coalition. You will never get it while someone this incompetent is your leader.
I considered my donation budget spent after my big transfer to Tostan, but I just donated $35 to the ACLU. I think this is an excellent example of where effectiveness analyses go wrong. The ACLU was supremely effective today because it had the capacity to take action immediately. If Trump hadn’t done this, that capacity would have been wasted and they would look less effective. Having strong institutions matters, even if you’re not using them.
A note to my fellow protesters: don’t protest bans on travel by shutting down modes of travel. Seriously, it’s just annoying.
EDIT 1/28: I’m getting a lot of commenters who disagree with me, which is great, but the comments are low quality, which is not. I’m leaving them up for now, but what I really want are strong arguments from the other side. People who are angry at me: instead of just saying that, I’d like to invite you to write out your thoughts long form, or link me to a blog post, news article, or book. I commit to reading the first 20 of these (for books I reserve the right to stop after the first chapter), and anticipate reading all of them eventually unless my blog gets way more popular.