Donald Trump campaigned on promises to get tough in the area of “law and order” using government agencies and local law enforcement offices to deter violent criminals and stop the plague of rising crime in many American cities.
During his presidential campaign, Trump pointed to an epidemic of opioid and painkiller abuse and addiction, limitations on stop-and-frisk police searches and homicide levels that are at 45-year highs in many areas.
In the past, Trump wrote about America’s problems with violent crime in his book, The America We Deserve. He advocated for longer prison sentences, greater use of the death penalty and more aggressive policing, calling these measures some of “the most important forms of national defense.”
Specifically, Trump wrote, “Government’s number-one job is to ensure domestic tranquility, and that means tranquilizing the criminal element as much as possible. Aggressive anticrime policies are the best social program because they allow citizens in all neighborhoods, especially the tougher ones, to live and work in a safe environment. They also protect children from the predatory mob that brutalizes them at every turn.”
True to his word, Trump signed three executive orders “designed to restore safety in America” on February 9, the same day that Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, was sworn into office. Sessions stood next to Trump as the president signed the three orders at the White House.
Besides Trump, Sessions is also known as a big believer in law and order and has campaigned on promises to be tough on crime and on violent criminals. Both men have opposed reducing mandatory minimum sentences, particularly for anti-police crimes. “We have a crime problem. I wish the rise that we’re seeing in crime in America today was some sort of aberration or blip,” Sessions said, stating that he thinks the increase is a “dangerous permanent trend.”
Sessions also supports Trump’s travel ban from seven Islamic-majority countries, adding that “We need a lawful system of immigration. That’s not wrong; that’s not immoral; that’s not indecent.”
Of Sessions, Trump stated that “these dangerous times require a determined attorney general” who can combat crime and “end the lawlessness” of rampant illegal immigration. Trump said “[Sessions has] devoted his life to the cause of justice and believes deeply that all people are equals in the eyes of the law… He’s trained better for [the job] than anybody else. He will be a great protector of the people.”
The three orders Trump signed direct Sessions and other heads of government agencies to come up with findings and recommendations that will cut down on violent crime, drug trafficking and immigration offenses.
Sessions has been instructed to form a “Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.” He’ll be working with federal, state, tribal and local agencies to specifically prosecute people who commit violent crimes against members of police forces and review laws that cover perpetrators of these crimes to see if they’re being punished enough.
Any needs in these areas, including requirements for new legislation or more funding, will be forwarded to the White House. “It’s a shame what’s been happening to our great, truly great law enforcement officers. That’s going to stop as of today,” vowed Trump.
Sessions’ Department of Justice will also work with the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Directorate of National Intelligence to form an interagency “Threat Mitigation Working Group” to focus specifically on drug cartels. Detection and prosecution of these dangerous groups will be a top priority for the Trump administration.
The aforementioned agencies will be tasked with sharing information and detailing progress made in combatting these organizations. “I’m directing the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to undertake all necessary and lawful action to break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth and other people. A new era of justice begins, and it begins right now,” pledged Trump after signing the orders.
The first findings from the task forces will be due in 120 days. It’s expected that their recommendations will be the basis of new laws and actions targeting criminal enterprises and problem areas.
Predictably, a number of liberal justice groups took umbrage with the orders. Amnesty International released a statement that read in part, “Law enforcement officers face unique hardships and challenges due to the nature of their work. [These] orders will not protect anyone, and instead [they] create additional penalties that could cause people to be significantly over-prosecuted for offenses including resisting arrest.” The White House had no comment on the Amnesty statement.
~ Conservative Zone