President Trump has signed an executive order asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to determine whether the far-right group Antifa can be classified as a terrorist organization – and to ban its members from entry.
One signed by the outgoing President Tuesday’s memorandum instructs Pompeo, in consultation with Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen and Secretary of State for Homeland Security Chad Wolf, to investigate whether Antifa should be classified as a terrorist organization, confirming a promise he made months ago.
« The Justice Department has already publicly confirmed that actions by Antifa and similar groups meet the standard for domestic terrorism, » the memo said.
« The violence triggered by Antifa – such as the hurling of projectiles and incendiary devices at the police, the burning of vehicles and the violent confrontation of the police against local curfews – is dangerous for human life and the fabric of our nation. »
The ordinance also states that it should ensure that « immigration benefits can only be provided to persons who comply with the laws that govern all citizens of the United States. »
« Active membership in a criminal organization is relevant for determining whether an applicant for a visa or other immigration benefit is seeking entry into the United States in order to engage in illegal activity, « it says.
The memo cites protests in California from 2017, when Antifa members physically assaulted several people in Berkeley and caused significant property damage.
In August 2017, “black Dressed « anti-fascist agitators » viciously attacked a rally, including targeting at least one person based on his or her conservative political views, the memo says.
The demonstrations resulted in 13 arrests, including charges of assault with a deadly weapon and obstruction of a police officer.
« Those associated with Antifa have repeatedly threatened violence, including against police officers, » continues Trumps Memo continues, citing an Antifa-linked Twitter account that shared the names of more than 1,500 immigration and customs officials in June 2018 – some of them leading to harassment.
More recently, suspected Antifa activists have become Captured on video in Portland attacking a woman who was flying an American flag.
« Reliable media coverage suggests that the movement known as Antifa is directly or indirectly responsible for some of the recent lawlessness in our communities and has exploited tragedy to advance a radical, left, anarchist and often violent agenda, « she continues.
Trump tweeted in May that the US would try to label the extreme anti-fascist group a terrorist organization. He repeated this in a tweet on Tuesday, warning the group to stay away from Washington.
Months after Trump’s first tweet, FBI director Christopher Wray said the agency viewed Antifa as « some kind of movement » or an ideology rather than one Group – despite evidence that self-identified anti-fascist activists were involved in violent rioting after the May murder of George Floyd of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Former Justice Department officials told the New York Times in May that Trump’s plan To declare Antifa a terrorist group has no clear legal authority in the absence of a domestic terrorism law.
« There is no legal authority to do this – and if such a law were passed, it would face serious challenges first change, « said Mary McCord, who previously headed the Department of Justice’s national security division.
The White’s press secretary en House, Kayleigh McEnany, said Tuesday that the violence committed by antifa activists is « called because of the domestic terrorism that it is ».
« President Trump is not going to allow Antifa or any terrorist organization our big one Destroying land, « McEnany said in a statement.
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