Sun | Jul 15, 2018

Letter of the Day | Trump just enforcing laws

Published:Saturday | March 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Ever since Donald John Trump was elected and sworn in as the United States' 45th president, there has been a lot of demonstrations and rhetoric about some of his policies, especially immigration-related matters that resulted in so many foreigners being blocked, initially, from entering the country.

Because I respect the rights of millions of Americans who cast their votes based on preference or other issues, I am not in a position to elaborate on his role because I strongly believe that, after a while, he will wind down, take meaningful advice from the experts, thus becoming a president with understating as it relates to a number of key issues.

As it relates to immigration matters that may result in certain Jamaicans getting expelled because of criminal convictions, or because they are living in the country illegally, which are the main reasons for them getting deported, President Trump's administration is currently enforcing US immigration laws that have been around for more than 20 years, of which I became a victim and is now qualify for a review of my prior deportation by the Homeland Security after 10 years had passed.

Two US immigration statutes are responsible for the massive removals/deportations over the years. They are the Anti-Effective Death Penalty Act, which was passed on April 24, 1996, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act on September 30, 1996. Former US President Bill Clinton signed them into law, and, based on the interpretations and methods of enforcement, these immigration statutes resulted in millions of foreigners getting expelled, while some are excluded based on foreign convictions.

The US Supreme Court was summoned and has ruled in favour of certain immigrants in the landmark case Immigation and Naturalisation Services v St Cyr, and the attorney general was obligated to adjust the federal register in order to accommodate the ruling from the High Court.


Aggressive approach


And so, while President Trump's administration might take a more aggressive approach at removing foreigners who violate immigration laws, he is not to blame for the effects of the Anti-Effective Death Penalty Act nor the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, and he should not be faulted for trying to 'Make America Great Again', as he has promised.

Although a number of Jamaicans have different views as it relates to a number of his policies; and even though I am a black man, I support some of his proposals because I understand that what he is doing that might bring great results in the long run.

So the advice to my fellow Jamaicans is that even though it appears as if it has been broken, they should try to understand US immigration policies because Congress or the federal government will not allow a sitting president to act in ways that are unconstitutional.