Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Trump issues new executive orders on violent crime

Alfredo Watts | 12 February, 2017, 00:36

"After the attorney general swearing in, the president signed 3 executive orders dedicated to standing behind the police officers who risk their lives everyday to protect us in our communities", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at a press conference on Thursday.

"I am signing three executive actions today created to restore safety in America", Trump said, adding that the orders will curb "threat of rising crime", while noting that "things will get better very soon".

On Thursday, President Donald Trump hailed the swearing-in of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, declaring that it "marks a new era of justice". "Secondly I'm directing Department of Justice to form a task force on reducing violent crime in America". A second order is titled "Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers".

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, has blasted the record of Attorney General Jeff Sessions - who was confirmed through a floor vote in the Senate Feb. 8 - as a troubling blow to immigration and civil rights.

This executive order directs Sessions to establish a task force with the same name as the order.

Sessions, in an April letter authored with three other Republican senators, rejected the characterization of drug dealing as a harmless activity unconnected to anything larger: "Drug trafficking can in no way be considered a "non-violent" crime". Instead of an instrument of progress, it stands to morph into something more like a weapon that has fallen into the wrong hands-one that will likely be used to flatter and undergird Trump's severe worldview on "law and order" and perhaps even carry out his personal vendettas. "It's a shame, what is happening to our law enforcement officers".

It further aims to: improve information gathering about these transnational organizations and cartels; enhance the speed and efficiency of removing criminals and cartel members who illegally enter the USA; and shift resources to better tackle these groups, according to the White House spokesman. We face the menace of rising crime and the threat of deadly terror. That's gonna stop as of today, ' Trump declared in remarks.

Mr Trump has blasted the ruling suspending his order, labelling the Seattle federal judge who issued it as a "so-called judge" and branding the courts "disgraceful" and politicized. "I wish the rise we're seeing in America today were some sort of aberration or a blip", he said. They said Trump's travel ban and his decision to fire Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, because she refused to enforce the ban show Trump is bent on testing the constitutional separation of powers. On the White House website, the Trump administration has hinted at a crackdown on protests.

The orders do not stand alone in Trump's efforts in week three to enact "law and order" and "respect to law enforcement", as he said he would do in October.

Trump has long held a pessimistic view of how safe people are in the US, declaring in his inaugural address that the "American carnage" would stop with his presidency.