Trump executive orders require all to be vigilant guardians of democracy

NATIONAL ISSUES: Widespread activism is required to defend the country's legacy as a home for displaced peoples.

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Willow Yang/Senior Staff

Against an authoritarian administration that blurs the lines of constitutionality and throws checks and balances out the window, we must protect the country’s legacy as a home for displaced peoples.

Trump’s inhumane Muslim ban — he refuses to call it by that name, but that is what the executive order boils down to — has threatened refugees, professionals who have worked in this country for years and, at UC Berkeley, our very own peers. Not even two weeks into his presidency, Trump has already placed legal residents of this country in uncertain positions. Already, students have to rethink their academic future. Already, people who make valuable contributions to our country are put at a disadvantage.

We all likely know someone affected by this ban.

As a world-renowned university with many international students, the UC system could directly fight against Trump’s proposals. But considering Trump’s plans to pull federal funding from sanctuary cities, which voted against him, Trump has shown that he is not above excessive retaliation against his opponents.

Trump, though unhinged, has shown a propensity to deliver on his amoral promises. There is a conceivable risk that speaking out against his policies could make the University of California a target for a federal funding cut. There are ways besides a blatant disavowal of Trump, however, that the university can still provide services to students imperiled by his executive order.

Beyond recommending these students to defer international travel, the university needs to provide them with a long-term housing plan. Assuming it lasts into the summer, when students have to move out of their residence halls — or perhaps longer — students will need a place to stay if they cannot return home.

The university can only do so much to protect its students. Former president Barack Obama’s call to be “anxious, jealous guardians of democracy” means stepping out of a bubble of complacency and urging state representatives to support bills such as the one Sen. Dianne Feinstein is drafting. If passed, the bill Feinstein introduced Monday would effectively rescind Trump’s executive order.

The Muslim ban has already been contested heavily through massive airport protests. The state is suing Trump, and the American Civil Liberties Union has fought successfully against detainment. To effect change, you can donate to such organizations, including Detention Watch Network, United We Dream and National Network of Arab American Communities, among others, which provide services to refugees and people seeking permanent residence in the United States.

In the meantime, we are students, and we must properly take care of ourselves and the people around us. The campus Muslim Student Association has organized an afternoon prayer — a chance to gather in support of one another.

The widespread activism has proved that Trump’s executive orders will not slip past the electorate without a fight. It goes beyond resistance — it’s part of the duty of civic engagement.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

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  • M2000

    You people are idiots. By you people, I mean the Daily Californian and your typical Leftists.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    Protecting democracy is best done by attacking people with sucker punches or reaching around from behind and pepper spraying. Groups jumping individuals and beating them unconscious also works. The greatest threat to democracy is a divergent opinion.

    In other words, the democracy *you* seek to “protect” is one that involves two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for dinner.

    BTW, the US is a republic. Apparently the schools no longer require the seventh grade to read the Constitution, including all of those articles and amendments and things.

  • AnonymouseIsAWoman

    Can you show me *one place* in the executive order where Muslims are specified? If this is a Muslim ban, why isn’t Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world on the list? Do you know the origin of the list of nations used in the order? Or the enabling legislation? Of course not, you haven’t read the order, you haven’t read the enabling legislation because that would involve actual work – and to you journalism is a matter of repeating popular prejudices while stuffing one’s fingers firmly in one’s ears to avoid actually knowing anything about the matter under discussion.

    • StanFromSomewhere

      Funny how Donald Trump, less than 2 weeks into office, is immediately responsible for everything, even Obama-era policies, when Obama himself wasn’t held responsible for the entire 8 years of his presidency. The blatant double-standards, along with the overall intellectual laziness of the left, only leave me relieved that it was Trump who was elected, not Clinton.

  • Jeremy Stanhope

    **Against an authoritarian administration that blurs the lines of constitutionality and throws checks and
    balances out the window, we must protect the country’s……**

    Had the Editorial Board railed against the previous administration’s authoritarian executive orders that blurred the lines of constitutionality and threw checks and balances out the window, I’d take this piece more seriously.

    You cannot be for authoritarian executive orders that blur the lines of constitutionality just because you like the outcomes. This is what you get when the worm turns.

  • TNT

    President Trump has kept to his campaign promises. If the federal law requires that the authorities deport illegal immigrants then their failure to do so should be dealt with by the government. Hence, a so-called “sanctuary city” is preposterous given that our federal laws require that the authorities deport these illegal criminals (and yes, any person breaking a country’s immigration laws is committing a federal crime).

  • ShadrachSmith

    If you see the duty of government as making the world a better place, you rationally want open borders.

    If you see the duty of government as protecting its citizens, you don’t.

    Binary moral choice: pick one.

    • AnonymouseIsAWoman

      Simplistic. There is a very large assumption that open borders would create a “better place.” Unfortunately, there is no objective evidence that “open borders” create a “better place.” The usual end result is more corruption, more poverty, and cultural destruction. Take a good look at London where they now accept the odd notion that modern life includes living with the constant threat of terrorism.

  • lspanker

    Funny how the same people who hysterically protest an election because they lost insist that they can function as “protectors of democracy”. The cognitive dissonance of these idiot liberals knows no bounds…

    • Arafat

      They really are something else.

      Thanks to these idiots during Obama’s tenure the democratic party lost 1,000 seats in state and federal houses. And given their literally insane response to Trump’s election we can count on more of the same going forward.

      In the not too distant future the only remaining democratic seats will be in Berkeley and in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

      • lspanker

        And to top it off, they went on a major rampage last night when Milo spoke on campus.

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