The world begins to push back
The Short Version
With the chaos and confusion caused by the ban on refugees, a number of people around the world are beginning to visibly and loudly push back against the ban and against the immigration policies of the 45th president’s administration. At the same time, the ban has also created a level of uncertainty caused global stock markets to decline.
A Little More Detail
By now, the chaos resulting from Friday’s presidential order banning the immigration of refugees as well as anyone traveling from seven predominantly Muslim countries is well known. We’ve all seen the pictures and the videos of protests that are ongoing at airports across the country. We’re angered by the firing of Sally Yates, the acting attorney general. But what is anyone doing about it?
A lot, actually. Let’s start with the Washington state attorney general, Bob Ferguson filing a lawsuit against the administration. “It’s my responsibility as attorney general to defend the rule of law, to uphold the Constitution on behalf of the people of this state. And that’s what we’re doing,” he said.
That lawsuit is likely to be enjoined by other state’s Attorneys General. This is a familiar move that was used frequently by Republican-dominated states during the Obama administration. It tends to be effective.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is providing cities in his state with the legislation templates they need in order to declare their cities as Sanctuary Cities in direct defiance of the President and the ban.
On Sunday, 17 Democratic attorneys general signed a letter vowing to “use all of the tools of our offices to fight this unconstitutional order.” One might think that all those would come from states where the president lost the electoral vote. That thinking would be wrong. The attorneys general from Iowa and Pennsylvania, which voted for the president, and Maine, where the vote was split, were among those signing the letter.
That level of resistance is important because states attorneys general tend to know the law at a rather detailed level that most of the rest of us don’t have. They can get down to the nitty-gritty of a matter and speak to legal documents in a legal way that actually has some impact.
They’re not the only ones pushing back hard, though. If the president thought he would have the support of the corporate community, he is wrong. CEOs who normally are quiet have been speaking up in defiance and condemning the ban. The following companies are among those who are actively taking steps to support their employees and speaking up in opposition:
- Goldman Sachs
- General Electric
- Merk & Co.
In some ways, the industrial sector’s push back may be stronger than that of the attorneys general because they can leverage their entire company’s workforce and capital should they decide to do so. While the means of resistance have, so far, been largely financial, such as Lyft donating to the American Civil Liberties Union or Starbucks hiring 10,000 refugees, should the ban continue to impact corporations in a negative manner, their response is likely to become stronger as well.
The ban isn’t doing good things for global markets, either. Not only did US markets close down yesterday in response to the ban, markets in India and Asia are both down this morning.
Oh, and did I mention that the ban received harsh condemnation from Britain’s members of Parliament yesterday, with several members taking to the floor to denounce the policy. Several are even going so far as proposing a state visit to the UK by the US president be canceled.
This is in addition to legal actions by the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center that were initiated yesterday.
Resistance against the ban is strong and the fallout looks to be severe. However, the administration is holding on to its out-of-touch views and illegal policies. This may well just be the beginning of a long battle.