President Donald Trump’s administration is no friend to immigrants. It’s also no friend to minorities. Today it has been revealed that Trump’s government is now going after minority immigrants in a scheme reminiscent of a fascist police state.
Reuters reports seeing diplomatic cables from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson which direct U.S. diplomatic missions to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny,” and to tighten screening for visa applicants from people belonging to these groups.
It’s obvious at this point that they aren’t going to be tightening screening for white people from Christian countries. In fact, they specifically ordered a mandatory “social media check” for all those visa applicants coming from “Islamic State territory.”
It has also come to light that U.S. consular officials are now regularly undertaking social media screenings of visa applicants. Considering the powerful tools spying U.S. intelligence agencies have at their disposal, this could amount to a flagrant and disgusting violation of visa applicants’ privacy before they’ve even entered the country.
Tillerson has issued four cables, also known as memos, over the last two weeks. They reveal how Trump’s administration is going about implementing what Trump has previously called “extreme vetting” of foreigners wishing to enter the United States, also one of his campaign promises.
The cables provide instructions on how to implement Trump’s revised travel ban which prohibits travel from six Muslim-majority countries as well as any refugees alongside increased visa screening.
The first three cables issued the strict guidelines for vetting, however the fourth, dated March 17th, retracted some of the rulings to reflect the fact that the travel ban had been defeated in the courts.
Despite the court defeat, the final cable leaves in place instructions for consular chiefs at embassies across the globe to assemble groups of law enforcement and intelligence officials in order to “develop a list of criteria identifying sets of post applicant populations warranting increased security.”
The cables do not provide any instructions for coordination between different U.S. embassies, likely meaning that different population groups will be monitored depending on the region.
These guidances are bad news because they essentially instruct embassies to profile applicants based on their race and religion as opposed to whether they actually pose a legitimate threat to the U.S. That way, Trump can deny entry to thousands of people simply because he doesn’t like where they come from, or what they believe.
This also means that the U.S. government could use stricter visa controls as a diplomatic weapon against countries it is in dispute with.
There is also the possibility that foreign governments could “suggest” certain demographics that might need extra vetting for their own political gain. It is not beyond the realms of imagination for a scenario to arise where a genocidal government wants to prevent political opposition or certain minority groups from leaving the country and uses Trump’s travel restrictions to do it.
Immigration attorney Jay Gairson said on the development:
Most posts already have populations that they look at for fraud and security issues. What this language effectively does is give the consular posts permission to step away from the focused factors they have spent year developing and revising, and instead broaden their search to large groups based on gross factors such as nationality and religion.
There are two possible consequences to this broadening of vetted individuals. The vetting process could slow to a snail’s pace to accommodate the stricter guidelines and increased vetting measures, thereby slowing immigration to a trickle and denying the U.S. valuable manpower to fill job vacancies. This could have a negative effect on the economy, and would be a result of unjustly targeting huge groups of individuals for their ethnicity or religious beliefs.
The other possible, and more serious, consequence is that because of the sheer number of people that need to be vetted, embassies rush the process and overlook individuals who do pose a genuine threat to the security of the U.S. It would be a disaster for both the Trump administration and the U.S. as a whole if this would occur, especially if said individuals end up committing attacks on U.S. soil.
These cables represent just another segment of our country’s radical shift to the authoritarian right. Trump isn’t doing this for national security reasons, America’s security was already taken care of with the previous visa regulations. This has everything to do with Trump controlling the groups of people he wants coming into this country. Trump and his cronies Tillerson and Bannon are intent on making America white again.