Opinion: What Donald Trump’s order on refugees is not

Protesters gather in front of the South Domestic Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in protest of President Donald J. Trump's exective order, Sunday, January 29, 2017. (Cory Hancock for The AJC)

Protesters gather in front of the South Domestic Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in protest of President Donald J. Trump’s exective order, Sunday, January 29, 2017. (Cory Hancock for The AJC)

Apparently the New Normal in the Trump presidency is to have large protests every weekend. What is less clear is whether these protests are going to amount to anything. The old adage about producing more heat than light applies here: There’s been a great deal of talk about the executive order President Trump signed regarding refugees, much of which seems to based on emotion rather than fact.

So, as a process of elimination, here is a list of things the Trump executive order is not:

  • A “Muslim ban.” Quick, which five countries have the largest Muslim populations? If you said Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria, you’re correct. Those five countries are home to a combined 764 million Muslims, almost half of the world’s Muslim population. None of them was singled out in the executive order. In fact, only one of the top 10 countries for Muslim populations (Iran) is among the seven countries receiving greater scrutiny under the order. If the goal was to keep Muslims out of our country, choosing those seven countries was a particularly dumb way to go about doing it. Likewise, Trump’s halting the inflow of all aliens from those seven countries — not just Muslims from those countries — should have been a giveaway that the action was not a “Muslim ban.”
  • A significant change in policy regarding religion. Federal law already establishes religious persecution as one factor to be considered when granting asylum. Every reference to religion in the Trump executive order is to religious persecution, and the conditions apply only to members of a minority religion who are being persecuted. If there is a quibble to be made here, it’s that part about being a minority: ISIS of course has killed a great many Muslims in majority-Muslim nations who simply didn’t subscribe to the would-be caliphate’s views on Islam. Perhaps there is enough discretion here to allow for granting asylum to Muslims threatened in this way, on the basis that the version of Islam they practice amounts to a persecuted minority sect in the eyes of ISIS, but that could stand to be much clearer.
  • Arbitrary. The seven countries specified by the order were identified by the Obama administration and Congress as potential sources of terrorism. In fact, they aren’t actually named in the order, which includes only a reference to the statute that identifies them. As problematic as governance by executive order is — more on that below — it would be even worse if the brand-new Trump administration had tried so soon to create its own criteria for determining which countries pose the biggest threats.
  • The first time this has happened. The Obama administration, you may have forgotten, enacted a six-month freeze on refugee applications from Iraqis in 2011 after U.S. officials learned terror suspects had entered our country through the refugee program. At least one Iraqi who had helped U.S. troops and was seeking asylum was killed during the freeze.
  • A sound way to set policy. President Obama was roundly criticized — including by yours truly — for using executive orders to set policy that is more properly established by the legislative branch. The same criticism applies here to Trump. The new president has suggested the changes were urgently needed to protect the American people, but it’s far from clear such a broad policy was needed to prevent an imminent attack. If the government has specific intelligence about a possible terror plot, it would have been far better to use it to intercept possible suspects rather than to immediately cast a wide net — signaling to potential terrorists that they needed to change their approach, and setting off such a firestorm of protest and confusion that it’s conceivable some potential terrorists will end up having an easier time getting into the country.
  • A competently drafted and executed plan. The administration claims green-card holders were not the targets of this order, but clearly some of them were affected by it. It’s extremely doubtful this was legal, much less a good idea. It reeks of desperation and panic, not the confident reappraisal of national security the administration claims to be undertaking.
  • Likely to add any meaningful protection to the homeland. While the chances of a terrorist taking advantage of our asylum program are not zero, they aren’t particularly large, either. We take in fewer, better screened refugees than the European nations whose problems have contributed to this concern. In any case, the goal of ISIS has been more to radicalize U.S. citizens and residents, and much less to send their own people here. Learning to identify those “homegrown” terrorists is by far the greater imperative. Instead, the Trump order is more likely to give potential ISIS recruits in the U.S. more motivation to enlist.

In short, this situation reveals the worst of all worlds: An ill-conceived and poorly executed policy which opponents still manage to blow out of all proportion as something even nastier than it really is. If this really is the New Normal, we may kill each other before the terrorists have a chance to do it.

Reader Comments 0

198 comments
AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Sure enough, the soros rent a mob is ALREADY out on the steps of the Supreme Court and one of them was holding a "Hardiman - Extreme and Dangerous" sign.


These people need to be caged.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

My God, think of how close the Supreme Court came to being filled with people like breckenridge, jezel and beatlettefrankie.


You should thank the Lord for Donald Trump.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Trump nominated a very good judge in Neil Gorsuch. The far-left Democrats will have a very difficult time blocking him but being far-left Democrats they'll try. Nuke them.

CaptnTripz
CaptnTripz

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/01/30/1627417/-Media-not-talking-about-President-Obama-s-ban-on-Iraqi-immigration-because-it-s-another-Trump-lie


Get your facts straight, racist, and stop blaming Trump's insanity, xenophobia, and incompetence on Obama. Oh, and the protests? Millions of $$ raised for the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and other human rights groups plus huge crowds that eclipse Drumpf's imaginary inaugural throngs - we have already achieved what you and your kind will NEVER be able to - the Resistance is gaining power every minute of every day, and impeachment is getting closer and closer. Keep your ignorance to yourself. We're all stocked up.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 The Jan. 30-31 poll found that 49 percent of American adults said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed with Trump’s order, while 41 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” disagreed and another 10 percent said they don’t know…


The Reuters/Ipsos poll found 31 percent of Americans feel “more safe” because of the ban, compared with 26 percent who said they felt “less safe.” 


lol


http://hotair.com/archives/2017/01/31/reuters-poll-near-majority-agrees-with-trumps-travel-ban-4941/

lvg
lvg

Presidential Clown's   speechwriter now is a legal expert and in charge of immigration orders for the Fascist  clique:


"""Stephen Miller, President Donald Trump's speechwriter, confidante and the author of his controversial immigration ban, has operated on the fringes of his own political party since he was a teenager.

But after what appears to have been a momentous White House policy coming out week, featuring Miller at its center, that's no longer the case. The California native has brought his views on immigration, multiculturalism and political correctness to the President's desk.He's also helped Trump in his mission to disrupt Washington, ruffling feathers with the secretive way in which he helped lead the White House release of its temporary immigration ban from seven Muslim-majority countries late on Friday with little to no input from the government agencies tasked with implementing the vision.But rather than a slap-dash effort, which is how the executive action seemed to unfold, Miller actually spent months crafting the order, a White House official said.The 31-year-old White House policy director has worked as the key voice in Trump's ear on immigration, along with Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart CEO who is another top adviser. The pair at one point overruled the Department of Homeland Security's more narrow reading of Trump's executive order by directing federal officials to also bar green card holders from one of those seven countries from entering the US. Those legal US permanent residents will now need to apply for a waiver to leave and return to the US, for at least the next 90 days.The decision to work on the order largely in secret, however, left many Capitol Hill Republicans "pretty pissed about how this went down," one aide who blamed Miller told CNN Sunday.The secrecy also led to mass confusion over the weekend, as Department of Homeland Security and other officials struggled to parse how to carry out the order.Defending the policy Monday, Miller told CBS the move would "make sure that people entering our country truly love and support the United States of America.""""From CNN news today

oldpunk
oldpunk

If it's "the same as Obama's" why was it needed at all?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 How about if we just smoke all the terrorists and return everyone to their native lands<---------------!!!!!!!!!!


If you are first on the plane. Trump supporter just shot up a Mosque in Canada.


Using your logic that makes you a terrorist too.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

How about if we just smoke all the terrorists and return everyone to their native lands<---------------!!!!!!!!!!


Shhh, don't tell no one, that's^^ the Trump plan.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@AndyManUSA#45 

How about if we just use proper English so no one will think we're  uneducated rubes---------------!!!!!!!!!!

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@AndyManUSA#45

ROFL. "Trump" and "plan" go together in much the same way as "IReportYouWhine" and "brains."

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@AndyManUSA#45 @Eye wonder

Your fuhrer's approval rating has hit its high water mark at 45% (47% disapproving). This is as good as it's going to get for you, IReport. How do you like them apples?

Caius
Caius

Republicans, both in the WH and in Congress, have nothing to complain about as to Advice and Consent to any nominee; Republicans sat on a SCOTUS nominee for 9 months.  Are they so dumb to not realize they would get a dose of the same medicine?


They knew and expected every move Democrats have made to date and those not yet made.  But hollering about it gets the base aroused and the fundraisers going.



Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

"America is not America," Assali said. "Like ISIS now, they ask, 'Are you Christian? What do you believe?' And if they are not saying what they believe, they kick you out and they cut your head off. So America, same thing. They ask you are you Muslim? You've got to change your religion. Thank you."


Read more: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Assali-Family-Syria-Donald-Trump-Vote-Allentown-Immigration-Ban-Travel-Order-412238593.html#ixzz4XMl1IJoD 

Follow us: @nbcphiladelphia on Twitter | NBCPhiladelphia on Facebook


We have become what we fear.

lvg
lvg

Nothing above or below explains how you can refuse entry and detain  a Yazidi wife escaping ISIS and sex slavery or medical students attending medical school in the US from Iran and elsewhere. 


And how many terrorists from the mecca of radical Islam in Saudi Arabia are barred? zero

Caius
Caius

@lvg Good pint Ivg.


9/11/2001 was an operation by Saudias.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 The American people realizing that Trump is looking out for them


Yes


The guy born into extreme wealth and privilege, who used that advantage to squash the little guy to enrich himself, cares about you. The guy who opened fake universities to fleece dumb rubes like yourself out of their money cares about you.


You keep telling yourself that.

Pub Heaven
Pub Heaven

Just in:

Trump's stern order on Separation of Powers: Congress' paid staff only have to carry his luggage; not required to open doors.

bu22
bu22

So Kyle, how many lives are worth a little inconvenience?  This was a necessary pause to correct actions from the previous administration that had thrown common sense to the wind in favor of political correctness.  Poorly implemented, probably, but not ill-conceived.  We know with 100% certainty that ISIS is using refugees to filter in terrorists.  We need a good degree of certainty that those we are bringing in are not terrorists.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@bu22 We know with 100% certainty that ISIS is using refugees to filter in terrorists.


No you dont.

bu22
bu22

@Hedley_Lammar @bu22 You don't because you keep ignoring the articles that point it out.  They don't fit your narrative.

Spinoza
Spinoza

It is interesting to note that over 15,000 academics have signed a petition criticizing this policy for the impact it may have on undergraduate, graduate, and post-doc students studying here, especially those in the sciences.


The list includes 50 Nobel laureates and over 400 members of the National Academy of Sciences.  

Trump is fulfilling his campaign promise of going after Muslims who are just as much victims as Christians in these countries. 

Little biddy wingnut asked about naming Islamic countries in order of population. Well, I did that easily but I wager that the fool occupying the White House could not.

breckenridge
breckenridge

The democrats playing games with the nomination of Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the most irresponsible thing I have ever seen in my life.

Oh I couldn't agree more.  Why it's much more irresponsible than leaving a Supreme Court seat vacant for months on end.

Oh wait a minute.......it's basically the same thing. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

The democrats playing games with the nomination of Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the most irresponsible thing I have ever seen in my life. Trump ran on immigration issues, everyday he talked about extreme vetting and building a wall, and he won that election. The democrats are the ones not accepting the results of the election and are attempting to harm the country with their childish actions. The Department of Justice protects all Americans, not all of the world, and their ability to protect all Americans is being sabotaged by the democrats. This must immediately cease.


The democrats are providing aid and comfort to America's enemies and there is a word for that. george soros is not an American and he is financing and organizing these fake protests, inciting violence and disrupting the lives and ability of legal American citizens to enjoy the liberty and freedom accorded to them by the Constitution. 


And now obama is further inciting them?


Not real Americans, at all. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@AndyManUSA#45 You arent a real American.


And the sooner your racist xenophobic type are gone the better.


Most of you Trumpsters are old with one foot in the grave


Tick tock goes the clock !

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Hedley_Lammar @AndyManUSA#45


Au contraire, 


The fastest growing democrat voting bloc is the latino immigrant. The great big beautiful wall will slow this to a crawl.


A lot of them with criminal records will be gone by the next election. 


The American people realizing that Trump is looking out for them instead of some crazed globalist society that hordes all the profits for themselves, more people that vote for Trump. Mark it on the calendar, Trump will win a black majority in 2020.


democrats are defending 8 Senate seats in 2018 in districts that Trump won.


Gerrymandering, hahahaha


The coming prosperous America, less people despondent and unwilling to start a family, more people happy with life and ready to get back to establishing the majority.


Anyway you look at it, it is totally understandable why you libs are crying, shrieking, pulling your hair out, setting everything on fire, etc.


C ya, wouldn't want to be ya.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@AndyManUSA#45 @Hedley_Lammar The fastest growing democrat voting bloc is the latino immigrant. The great big beautiful wall will slow this to a crawl.


55 million legal Hispanics and growing.


They will be the majority by 2046. 


Its you that are on the way out my ignorant friend.

NativeAtlantan57
NativeAtlantan57

Chaos is what ensues when uneducated rural rednecks, hypocritical evangelicals and intolerant skinheads are allowed to voice their opinions. May we survive this.

bu22
bu22

@NativeAtlantan57 The reason Hillary had to be defeated.  Bigoted hypocritical totalitarians like you who reject basic American values like freedom of speech.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

So now we have a marker of decency that can be easily verified, go back to any one of the previous international terrorist attacks, Paris, Canada, anywhere in the world you'd like to look, and check and see if any Conservatives were unseemly enough to call any of the perpetrators "obama supporters."


You won't find any because Conservatives are not that ghastly. 

Classof98
Classof98

@AndyManUSA#45  Not only that, but Wolff Blitzer actually talked about a James Holmes who lived in Aurora, Colorado, who was a member of the "Tea Party".  That was a different Holmes than the one who shot up the movie theater.  And don't forget Jared Loughner was influenced by Sara Palin's "bullseye" electoral map, and not some nutjob who, when he voiced any opinion on politics, was decidedly liberal.

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

Hey, now Trump can say the DOW passed 20,000 TWICE while he was president. 

NativeAtlantan57
NativeAtlantan57

@Ychromosome The Dow Jones rocketed from 8,000 to 19,500 under Obama. It is going to be a rollercoaster under Despicable Donnie. Wall Street does not thrive on daily acts of insanity.

lvg
lvg

@NativeAtlantan57 @Ychromosome Now that Donnie has stumbled into the war in Yemen and N. Korea is taking advantage of political turmoil in S. Korea watch the market tank as the fools try to show they are real warriors.