Saturday, January 28, 2017

Radical Terrorist Ban or Selective Entry? Trump's "Good" and "Bad" List


According to statistics by the conservative-leaning Cato Institute, not a single American was killed on U.S. soil between 1975 and 2015 by citizens from any of the countries on President Trump's recent Muslim ban.

President Trump has signed an executive order that effectively bans citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days. The executive order, signed at the Pentagon, suspends the issuing of U.S. visas or travel permits to people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

When President Trump was running for election, he called for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States, barring followers of the world’s fastest-growing religion because he considers the faith rooted in hatred and violence.

Now, Trump signed the order and pledged to "keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America." He continued to say the order will help “insure we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.”

This order has caused confusion as people are being detained at airports in the country. The administration evidently did not issue guidance to airports and airlines on how to implement the executive order. "Nobody has any idea what is going on," a senior Homeland Security official told NBC News.

(Eoghan Macguire, Ali Gostanian and Erik Ortiz. “Trump Travel Restrictions Leave Refugees Stranded: Reports.” NBC News. January 28, 2017.)

In his brief remarks while signing the executive order on January 28, Trump maintained the order isn't a "Muslim ban." He said, “It’s working out very nicely. We’re going to have a strict ban, and we’re going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years.”
Trump claimed before signing the order that the “new vetting measures” will make it much harder for terrorists to enter the country.

“We don’t want them here,” he said. “We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.” 

(Doug Stanglin and Alan Gomez. “Trump says immigration ban working 'nicely’ as protests, detainments hit airports.” USA TODAY. January 28, 2017.)

However …

Some Muslim countries were spared from the order's blacklist, even though they have deep-seated ties to terrorism. And, guess what? President Trump doesn't hold any business interests in any of the countries on the list, but holds major stakes in several of those excluded from it, records show.

(Chris Sommerfeldt. “President Trump's Muslim ban excludes countries linked to his sprawling business empire.” New York Daily News. January 28, 2017.)

Cato reported that nearly 3,000 Americans were killed by citizens from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey in the same time period — with the bulk of those killed being victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Trump’s huge business empire – an empire of which he still holds ownership – holds multi-million dollar licensing and development deals in all of those countries. Of course, this ownership has raised potential conflict of interest concerns and questions over what actually went into the decision process behind the executive order.

(Doug Stanglin and Alan Gomez. “Trump says immigration ban working 'nicely’ as protests, detainments hit airports.” USA TODAY. January 28, 2017.)

Please read the entire detailed report of the holdings and terrorist acts here:

Looking Through Alternate Truths

The legality of Trump's order will not be clear until it's argued in federal court – probably very soon. It appears he wants to prioritize the immigration of persecuted Christians over Muslims. This is an additional problem because nothing in our law justifies banning or elevating an entire religion. And, of course nothing justifies banning an entire nationality. One problem is evident – Trump will have to answer how he can say that all of Syria is detrimental. Here comes a wave of litigation.

Who can deny that President Trump's delineation of friends and foes is suspect? Is America now a country that protects his contributors at the expense of others that he, not the government, judges unworthy? After all, he supports his comments and judgments with alternate facts, and he appears devoted to himself, above all. Perhaps the president wants only those here who support him and his followers.


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