Mar. 27th, 2017

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It’s not even three months into the new administration and there are serious concerns for the rights of mutants impacted by various executive orders and bills meant to “protect Americans from terrorism”. Post M-Day, domestic safety and security has become the prominent concern of the public at large. The preceding government’s ‘cautious response’ was seen as inadequate among many citizens impacted adversely by the disaster. With the support of groups such as the Friends of Humanity and promises to “come down hard” on what they called the ‘mutant terrorist threat’, 45 garnered the support of those citizens. The new administration now appears to be following through on those promises.

Travel Ban

The new version of the executive order banning entry to the US of residents of six Muslim-majority countries also included a new clause banning mutants “who pose a potential threat” from entering the U.S. despite their visa status. The term “x-gene” is a misnomer as mutation is caused by a number of genetic triggers. There is also no easy, fast and reliable test for the “x-gene”. This clause is expected to impact visible mutants and those from countries who have some form of mutant registration in place and have their genetic status marked on their documents.

The subjective nature of the definition of who would cause a “potential threat” also makes the clause extremely problematic for mutants wishing to travel. This clause increases existing flight restrictions put in place since M-Day. These restrictions were created when non-mutant passengers on domestic and international flights complained about the safety issues of having a visible mutant on board.

The travel ban has been overturned by courts in two states already. The ACLU is continuing to challenge the executive order. Muslims and other U.S. citizens travelling from the named countries on the ban are potentially protected by the constitutional right to practice religion. There is little in the way of specific legislation protecting the rights of mutants. A handful of legal decisions in favour of protecting mutant rights to education and insurance may provide precedent, but even the most staunch defenders of mutant rights are unsure of their chances.

What Next?

After such a controversial beginning to the new presidency, many mutants are left wondering what other restrictions are yet to come down the pipe. A new version of the Mutant Registration Act, lobbied by Senator Robert Kelly in 2002, is most frequently named as a possibility. The MRA was discarded when Senator Kelly had his sudden – and, some claim, extremely suspicious – change of heart. Post M-Day, there is increasing support for legislation requiring mutants to register their identities and powers with the government. While there may be some good reasons for registration, the mutant community, perhaps justifiably, are reluctant to be identified in the current atmosphere of conflict and suspicion. Certainly acts of anti-mutant violence have increased along with the threats to Muslim and Jewish communities. And various state legislation, such as Virginia’s recent attempt to criminalize mutants by making any use of powers in a crime an automatic felony, fail to reassure mutants that the government has their best interests at heart.


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