A Report on President Trump’s First 100 Days

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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he answers a question. Photo by Brian Snyder courtesy of Reuters

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he answers a question. Photo by Brian Snyder courtesy of Reuters

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011.

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011.

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2017–It has been an extraordinary first one hundred days for new President Donald Trump. His actions on the national security front are making headlines around the world.

In his first act upon assuming office, President Trump declared a national State of Emergency. In his address to the nation, President Trump offered four primary reasons for this step: the continued threat posed by the terrorist group ISIS, the possibility of ISIS collaborators within the American Muslim community, the presence within the United States of at least eleven million illegal immigrants, and insecure air, land, and sea borders.

President Trump undertook a large number of specific policy changes by executive order. He first ended the program which had permitted refugees from Syria entry into the United States, and announced efforts to locate and deport all such refugees. The president also announced a temporary but indefinite hold on the admitting of any immigrants of any type to the United States.

The president then announced a national registration campaign. Claiming that national security required that the government have full knowledge of all persons in the country, and of all information relevant to security, President Trump announced the Make America Great Identity Card, to be called the MAGIC card. As of March 1, every person within the United States was required to register their identity, workplace, address, national origin, and religious affiliation. All people on US soil are now required to produce this identity card to any officer of the law upon request. Those unable to produce a card are taken into custody and subject to deportation.

The president also announced a program to locate and deport illegal immigrants. Besides the use of the MAGIC card, the president announced his intention to step up enforcement of US immigration law using whatever means might be necessary to locate and deport illegal immigrants. Raids on predominantly Hispanic population centers began on March 1. Meanwhile, President Trump has stationed National Guard troops along the borders, and at airports and seaports.

Following quickly on the heels of these measures, President Trump announced the opening of temporary camps for processing and holding those arrested either for lack of a MAGIC card or in immigration raids. Naming these the Make America Great Internment Centers, or MAGIC2, the president claimed that these are a necessary but short-term measure under the state of emergency. A number of MAGIC2 sites have already been established and more are under construction.

Claiming that then-existing federal, state, and local law enforcement resources were inadequate to meet current challenges and enforce new policies, President Trump announced the creation of a new internal security force, based in the White House and reporting directly to the president. The president announced that it would have priority for law enforcement resources and its actions would not be subject to judicial review. At the same time, President Trump announced that he had overturned former President Obama’s 2009 executive order banning waterboarding and other forms of “enhanced interrogation,” sometimes considered to be torture, and authorized the use of this and other interrogation techniques during the State of Emergency.

As a candidate, Mr. Trump had suggested many of these steps as early as 2015 and had met considerable opposition. However, the devastating terror attack on Los Angeles in October 2016 seems to have helped ensure his election as an independent in a very tight three-way race against Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio, while stilling many voices of dissent.

Since taking office, President Trump, unexpectedly, has found his most determined opponents to be religious groups. Besides protesting his new policies, some religious leaders have instructed their congregants to refuse to register under the MAGIC card system. Under the #WeAreAllMuslims initiative, other religious leaders have called for everyone to register as Muslim, in order to support the group believed to be most directly threatened by potential follow-on steps to registration. And many religious groups have begun hiding undocumented immigrants from raids.

In response, the president has heightened penalties for noncooperation. Several hundred US religious leaders have been detained and many more are expected to be jailed for continued open defiance of the new laws. A large number of other US religious leaders have backed the president and expressed opposition to religious dissidents, claiming that they are being unpatriotic and are threatening national security. Fistfights have been reported in several congregations around the nation, and several ministers have reported death threats.

Unlike in France after the Paris attacks of November 2015, no time limit has been set on the US State of Emergency. It is possible that it will continue indefinitely.

  • Drew

    >>>Claiming that national security required that the government have full knowledge of all persons in the country, and of all information relevant to security, President Trump announced the Make America Great Identity Card, to be called the MAGIC card. As of March 1, every person within the United States was required to register their identity, workplace, address, national origin, and religious affiliation. All people on US soil are now required to produce this identity card to any officer of the law upon request. Those unable to produce a card are taken into custody and subject to deportation.

    To where will we depot US citizens?

  • David Lloyd-Jones

    Drew,

    Get with the program, willya? If they don’t got a MAJIC, what makes you think they’re citizens?

    -dlj.

  • Lisa Bien

    Unfortunately the most questionable piece is assuming the majority of religious leaders would oppose this…

  • James L. Skinner

    First, I would like to state that I am not a Trump supporter. I believe his rhetoric is without substance. It is purely designed to excite the emotions of a majority that feels government is corrupt and has abandoned them. However, Dr. Gushee’s column is short of facts and long on conjecture, possibly malice. I believe Trump will eventually be found to be nothing more than a collection of sound bites, and a clear conservative will come to the forefront. This sort “article” comes just short of accusing Trump of Nazi style death camps. How can a man who hides behind the veil of the clergy compose such a judgmental hit piece? I thought we were not supposed to pass judgment. Let alone create an Orwellian fiction that is incredibly unlikely to transpire. A google search will yield no hits on MAGIC Card, or MAGIC 2. The president cannot call out the National Guard. The president can federalize the National Guard, but must go through the governor of each state. The good doctor…

  • Larry

    Am I the only one who sees the irony of Trump amping up Nazi-like rhetoric and actions in the same week Amazon premiers “The Man in High Castle” a series about a Fascist controlled America?
    http://www.inquisitr.com/2589963/the-man-in-the-high-castle-furore-shows-power-of-history/

    He even encouraged the public beating of a minority protesting him.
    http://www.chaunceydevega.com/2015/11/donald-trumps-rallies-are-safe-space.html

    Its like he is “punking” the conservative white voters as part of an elaborate practical joke. Andy Kaufman-type hijinks on a colossal scale!

  • David Lloyd-Jones

    “Am I the only one who sees the irony of Trump amping up…”

    Yes, Larry, you are.

    The rest of us pay more attention to the Trump phenomenon itself. Very few people seek guidance from emanations in the aether like the Amazon puffery.

    Don’t worry. The Amazon campaign will end soon. Then you, too, will be able to turn your attention to Trump.

    -dlj.

  • Larry

    Well that reaction was unnecessarily hostile, a little silly, self-important and missed the point entirely.

    Trump is advocating fascist tactics such as closing down of houses of worship and singling out people for government sanction on the basis of their religion. We have a politician in Virginia who claimed internment of Japanese American citizens during WWII was a good thing. Trump supporters beat a man at one of his rallies for being “uppity”. He applauded the action. Trump even quoted a neo-nazi screed verbatim at his last rally.

    This coming the week millions of TV viewers are watching a show which has the theme of how easily Americans would adapt to Nazi rule and atrocities.

    That is one hell of a coincidence. Its almost as if Trump is following a script on how to make conservative racist subtext overt. He is either trying to make other candidates appear saner or doing a great job for democrats.

  • Tom Downs

    Can’t happen, you say. Do you know what Oliver North’s job was in the White House Basement? How to void the Constitution and institute marshal law… in an emergency, of course.

  • David Lloyd-Jones

    Anonymous Larry,

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all. I think the producers of “The Man in the High Castle,” a cheap exploitation flick, timed its release for the election cycle.

    If it hand’t been Trump you would have been saying the same thing, with the same apparent degree of plausibility, about Cruz or Rubio or Santorum.

    You fell for their publicity line, and now you come out looking silly for it you say nasty things about me instead.

    Normal Larry. Caught.

    -dlj.

  • larry

    No. You are just being ignorant and hostile for its own sake. Man in High Castle is a high budgeted TV series given its producers.10 hours long. Production started well before Trump even began his run. It took the better part of 20 years to find people willing to adapt it. The novel is a SF cult classic.

    You have no clue what you are talking about.

    Bear in mind Trump has worked in professional wrestling (as a “promoter”) and reality TV. He knows how to do cheap theatrics and appeal to cretins. He has far more sense of showmanship than Cruz, Rubio and Santorum. Those 3 aren’t savvy enough to sniff Trump’s caca when it comes to playing to an audience. Plus those 3 are theocrats, not fascists. Different kind of wannabe dictator.

    Feel free to continue to deny the obvious. Trump is out-bigoting the other candidates and making a mockery of the GOP rank and file.

  • David Lloyd-Jones

    Anonymous Larry,

    You are quite right that ten hours of TV adds up to a big budget, and that the novel is a classic, or at least one of a large genre of “What If…” stuff.

    If you want to claim authority on the relative degrees of authoritarianism and racism among the Republican herd, be my guest. Far too recondite a topic for me.

    And you do it with such style.

    -dlj.

  • Dave Dell

    Trump is in it for his own amusement. He’s just bored and and has the money to act out his contempt for the rubes on the biggest of stages.

  • Tim Martin

    While a good conversation starter, this article does seem to assume the failure of a fairly significant number of Constitutional checks and balances. I would love to see a Constitutional scholar’s take on many of the promises that Trump is…um, trumpeting.

  • Pam

    Chilling — this could have been copied straight from HItler’s system — positively terrifying. Will I need a tattoo on my forearm? If a person’s arms are already covered in tattoos. where would the tattoo go? Gotta think this stuff out and plan ahead!

  • Larry

    At this point Trump is in the greatest reality TV show of his life. Do you think he can return to The Apprentice or WWE after this? It could only be anti-climatic to his drama queen sensibilities.

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  • Texas Dervish

    Nowhere in the article does it imply that a “majority” of religious leaders would oppose; only that some would, and would therefore be targeted alongside the persecuted minorities they protect. Read about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church movement. The whole piece is actually a veiled history lesson. Everything attributed to Trump is something Hitler actually did; just substitute “Jews” for “Muslims”, and “Reichstag fire” for the fictitious L.A. terror attack.

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