So I, like many of you I’m sure, didn’t sleep much last night. I am dissapointed that Biden did not remove 10014/10052. He should have done so – and I believe there was some sort of reversal in the days before the announcement. Just days ago, people within the administration were signaling the bans would be removed.
So the way forward is through legal action and the lawyers immediately took action yesterday in the Gomez and Anunciato cases, informing the Judges of Biden’s failure to remedy 10014 and pressing for immediate relief. We will watch that play out.
So for many of you that is all of this article you need to read. Some of you are angry and frustrated anyway, so just believe that Biden is as bad as Trump. I don’t agree, but you won’t change your minds until you see something different. That’s understandable.
But I did want to capture some thoughts on what might have happened – and why Biden did what he did yesterday. So – if you’re interested, read on. Understanding doesn’t help with the immediate problems, but I at least want to make some sense of it, and would be interested in your opinions.
First I want to pick up and expand on a couple of things I said on my livestream yesterday.
Biden is not a God. He is not a movie star. He will not always please me in the way he acts, I expect to disagree with things he does and will call him out when he does so. That is important, because it shows that he is just a man that happens to be in charge right now, but that’s all. He knows that role, and I think it is important to him. It’s part of the character that I recognize as being important.
Trump created an environment where he demanded absolute loyalty. His followers are fanatical, they wear hats and other clothing with Trumps photo and name. It’s like they are following some sports team. They would blindly agree with him, no matter how obviously wrong his decisions or statements are. They were taught to believe the media was fake, because Trump knew the media would call out his nonsense. People actually believed he was sent by god to reclaim America for whatever BS they wanted to believe. There was even a subculture based around all sorts of conspiracy theory nonsense – the QAnon crap. This elevation of Trump to king like, and perhaps even god like status. People actually believed that the election was rigged, and then once that was disproven there were all sorts of dates when various things would happen to reinstall Trump on his newly fashioned throne.
This was all much more serious and dangerous than some of us might realize. Trump badly handled the COVID response, to the extent that now over 450,000 Americans are dead. Our death rate is TWICE that of Germany. Only the UK appears to have handled the pandemic worse than us, although the UK is at least doing well with the vaccination program. Biden has ramped up our vaccination program massively, but Trump had done nothing. So if we had only achieved the same control that Germany did, we could have saved over 200k lives. That blood is on Trump’s hands. Biden cannot afford to handle the crisis the same way, and he won’t.
Now, if you watched Biden’s signing yesterday you will have noticed he referenced the criticism he has been under in signing so many EOs since he became President. He said:
“And I want to make it clear — there’s a lot of talk, with good reason, about the number of executive orders that I have signed — I’m not making new law; I’m eliminating bad policy. What I’m doing is taking on the issues that — 99 percent of them — that the President — the last President of the United States issued executive orders I felt were very counterproductive to our security, counterproductive to who we are as a country, particularly in — in the area of immigration.”
Now as we know, the lawyers are having enormous success attacking the EOs of the last administration. It’s a frustratingly slow process and TROs or PIs are only possible in certain circumstances, but time and time again we have seen the lawyers pull apart the executive orders and show how they were not well conceived or written.
I the recent Anunciato hearing, the lawyers clearly argued that Trump’s decision on 10014 was to be blocked because the order (unlike the Hawaii case) gave no evidence of the central theme of the order, that immigrants would make the post COVID job situation worse. That is an absolutely KEY piece of the argument to take down 10014/10052. The President is given broad authority on policy to block entry of immigrants as was argued in Hawaii v Trump. The Supreme court accepted that decision, because there was (after two failed orders) some “fact based” reasoning in the order. That is exactly why the disgusting Muslim bans stayed in place until Biden revoked them – and the damage that order did is unrecoverable for thousands of people.
So – the lesson here that Biden, I believe, has learned is that executive orders should be used sparingly, and only when good reason can be demonstrated. That reason should not be based on his own whims as we saw with Trump. There should be evidence, there should be a process.
So I think Biden was stuck between wanting to remove the bans and not wanting to do it without process and evidence. The Muslim ban had to go. It was obviously wrong on ethical grounds, even though it had been tested and found to be legal. As I explained yesterday the DSchengen restrictions are at the other end of a scale. Whilst they are a nuisance, there is at least some logic to them. 10014 and 10052 are somewhere between those two cases. Not as overtly immoral as the Muslim bans, but not as justifiable as the Schengen restrictions.
So how do you handle that middle case? Well I believe what Biden wanted to do was setup Mayorkas to provide the background evidence and reasoning to justify the revocation of the bans, along with many other actions that are impacting immigration currently. Mayorkas would then ask the President to take certain actions based on his findings. That would be a more proper procedure, rather than kinglike decrees coming down without justification.
There is some evidence of that exact approach with Sec Blinken as I retweeted this am.
So I think that’s the plan, but I don’t know the timeline. We don’t have 90 days to wait as mentioned in the order for a report, but Mayorkas doesn’t have to act slowly. So, how quickly can that happen is the unknown, and whether 10014/10052 will be struck down by the courts in the meantime.
Anyway, that’s my perspective. As I said, in the end it may not matter. The lawyers are working to get the bans revoked and they are all very confident they can do so, BUT it’s a good thing to continue the fight on various fronts.