President Donald Trump has signed a memorandum seeking to block the entry of individuals affiliated with the far-left movement Antifa to the United States, the White House announced on Jan. 5, saying that the violence spurred on by the group endangers the fabric of the nation.
“This violence and lawlessness has no place in the United States and will be called out for the domestic terrorism that it is.
“Today, President Donald J. Trump signed a memorandum to ensure that Federal officials assess actions of Antifa activists in light of Federal laws that restrict the entry of aliens associated with terrorist organizations and aliens intent on criminal activity. President Trump will not allow Antifa, or any terrorist organization, to destroy our great country.”
Citing the safety of U.S. citizens, the president’s memorandum states that under the Immigration and Nationality Act, aliens who have engaged or who are likely to engage in terrorist activity and those aliens who seek entry into the United States to engage, principally or incidentally, in unlawful activity, are rendered inadmissible.
It states that active membership in a criminal association must be considered in determining whether an individual may be seeking to enter the country to engage in unlawful activity.
Antifa, which is described as an anarcho-communist movement, publicly identifies with communist and socialist ideology.
The group was described by then-Attorney General William Barr on Aug. 9, 2020, as a revolutionary group intent on establishing socialism or communism in the United States. Barr has said that the extremist group has been engaged with this goal since the first day of the Trump administration.
Trump, meanwhile, has previously said that the United States will declare Antifa a terrorist group, but the administration hasn't taken the formal step of doing so.
The memo states that, based on “reliable reporting,” Antifa is directly or indirectly responsible for some of the “recent lawlessness” in communities across the nation.
Antifa “has exploited tragedies to advance a radical, leftist, anarchist, and often violent agenda,” the memo states, adding that the group “has long used otherwise permissible demonstrations to engage in lawless, criminal behavior to further its radical agenda.”
“The violence spurred on by Antifa—such as hurling projectiles and incendiary devices at police, burning vehicles, and violently confronting police in defiance of local curfews—is dangerous to human life and to the fabric of our Nation,” the memo states.
It cites a number of other incidents marred by violence in recent years, which saw Antifa protesters physically assault individuals, cause property damage, and threaten violence against law enforcement officers.
The memorandum states that the secretary of state will consult with the attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security in reviewing information from the Department of Justice to assess whether to classify Antifa as a terrorist organization. Listing Antifa as “Aliens Who Are Members of an Identified Criminal Organization” will also be considered, the memo says.
“These violent acts undermine the rights of peaceful protestors and destroy the lives, liberty, and property of the people of this Nation, especially those most vulnerable,” the memo states.