- Vincent Warrenexecutive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
On Thursday, President Trump signed three new executive orders addressing crime and immigration. One seeks to increase penalties on those found guilty of assaulting police officers. A second order directs law enforcement agencies to increase intelligence sharing while going after drug cartels. A third order directs Attorney General Sessions to prioritize fighting “illegal immigration” alongside drug trafficking and violent crime. This is “the beginnings of what we are calling a blue lives matter regime,” explains our guest, Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, what hasn’t gotten as much attention, because this is so major, this continuation of the stay on the Muslim ban, on Thursday, President Trump signed three new executive orders addressing crime and immigration. One seeks to increase penalties on those found guilty of assaulting police officers. A second directs law enforcement agencies to increase intelligence sharing while going after drug cartels. And a third directs the attorney general, now Jeff Sessions, to prioritize fighting “illegal immigration” alongside drug trafficking and violent crime. Vince Warren?
VINCENT WARREN: Yeah, those three executive orders are pretty much right out of the National Fraternal Order of Police playbook. The sum total of those three orders means massive new resources going to law enforcement on the federal, state and local level. The order that has to deal with police officers, that you were mentioning, really is the beginnings of what we’re calling a blue lives matter regime. We’ve been seeing this in states where there are increased penalties that people—criminal penalties for assaulting, sometimes even insulting, police officers, the idea that—built on the idea that if you’re black or if you’re gay or if you’re a woman and someone assaults you, that it is worse and there should be penalty enhancement for that. We’re seeing that for police officers, which doesn’t make sense.
The other piece that I think is significant is in the—one of the executive orders that you mentioned, where the attorney general is to look at crime reduction. Crime is not going up. It hasn’t been going up for 30, 40 years. It’s going down. The other part of that executive order was talking about restoring public safety, as if we don’t have public safety now. But significantly—and you pointed this out—the attorney general has to look at rising crime in three areas: drug trafficking, violent crime and then illegal immigration. This is the first time that I have seen the status of being undocumented looked at as a crime that has to be reduced through enhanced punishment, through enhanced things like that. That’s the big problem that we need to keep our eye on.
AMY GOODMAN: And that’s what we’re going to look at next, a woman who, in the midst of all this, who’s lived here for 21 years, the mom of two American-born children in Arizona, was deported yesterday. We’ll speak with her husband. Vince Warren, thanks so much for being with us.
VINCENT WARREN: Thank you.
AMY GOODMAN: Executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. We’ll be back in a minute.