Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Trump's Temporary Immigration Ban

There has been a lot of hoopla made out of President Trump’s executive order on the temporary ban of immigrants from seven unstable or war-torn Middle Eastern nations lately.  Where one comes down on the issue is probably more indicative of one’s own political predilections than it is of the actual executive order itself.

Trump’s executive order specifically states that a temporary ban on immigration from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya will be enacted in order to ensure the safety of American citizens from potential terrorists that could infiltrate and pose as refugees in order to gain entrance into our nation for nefarious reasons.

Now I understand and indeed appreciate the good-hearted people that want to allow immigrants that are fleeing these war-embattled, terrorist hellholes.  If we could ensure their good intentions, then I would be inclined to grant them refugee status and welcome them in too.  That said, our government has the responsibility to strike the proper balance between national security and compassion for its citizens and those who would be its citizens.

The reason these particular seven countries are specifically listed in the executive order is because of the inability for us to properly vet these would-be immigrants due to lack of documentation that verifies that these people truly are refugees and not ISIS fighters simply trying to gain entrance to America.  The foreign governments from which these folks are fleeing either do not have the ability or do not wish to provide documentation to corroborate these peoples’ stories.  Trump, as promised in the presidential campaign, has taken the first step to protect Americans from a potential national security risk by not admitting these refugees without proper vetting.  (Can you imagine the outcry, particularly from the Left, if unchecked immigration allowed a terrorist into the country who did manage to kill Americans under Trump's watch?)

“But this executive order is unconstitutional,” and “It is un-American to ban people simply because they are Muslim,” many well-meaning Americans object.  Well, I would respectfully argue that there is nothing unconstitutional, outrageous, or immoral about suspending immigration from countries raging in war and terrorism or specifically touting a hatred for American ideals.  Further, this is NOT a Muslim ban as the other 43 predominately Muslim nations in the world have not had their immigration status affected by this executive order.  Indeed, the European Union and even some Middle Eastern nations such as Kuwait have similar restrictions for many of these exact same unstable hot spots in the world.

Further, I find it interesting how many of these same people decrying Trump’s order watched in silence as President Obama in his waning days in office signed an executive order abolishing the refugee status of Cubans fleeing that repressive regime with the decades-held feet wet/feet dry policy. Previously Cubans that risked their lives fleeing to American shores were granted political asylum if they could successfully touch U.S. soil.  President Obama rescinded that long held immigration policy by executive order to nary a peep from the Left in this country.  That is hardly sympathetic to those immigrants that are fleeing tyranny and do not wish our country harm.  It stands in stark contrast to Trump’s executive order.

I applaud the purpose of President Trump’s executive order; however, in many ways he has been his own worst public relations enemy on the subject.  At times, he or his surrogates have insisted that this was not a ban, and then turned around and referred to it as a ban.  Whether this was simply sloppy language or intentional, they have sent a jumbled message that the hyper-critical left-wing press has been only too happy to run with in order to try and goad and undermine Trump and his supporters on this issue.  My biggest complaint though was that it doesn’t seem like the purpose and scope of the order was communicated well to those needing to understand and implement it properly.  Further, it should never have affected green card holders that were already vetted and here legally.

Lastly, regarding the constitutionality of President Trump’s executive order, a president does indeed have the right to enforce existing law as the chief executive.  He has an obligation to protect America and its citizenry.  By issuing his order, he is not abridging or denying constitutional rights to would-be immigrants.  By definition, the United States Constitution guarantees it rights and protections to those who are CITIZENS of the United States.  It does not necessarily confer all of those same rights and protections to foreign nationals.

Two years ago, President Obama signed The Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 which contained the following:

An alien shall be ineligible for program participation who:
has been present, at any time on or after March 1, 2011, in Iraq or Syria, in a country designated as one that has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, or in any other country or area of concern designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and
regardless of whether the alien is a national of a program country, is a national of Iraq or Syria, a country designated as a country that has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, or any other country or area of concern.

President Obama was right to do so then.  President Trump is right to do so now.  And that is regardless of my political predilections.

31 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

I have just a couple of comments, minor I suspect in your opinion.

"The reason these particular seven countries are specifically listed in the executive order..."
Actually the seven countries are not listed in the executive order.

"...this is NOT a Muslim ban as the other 43 predominately Muslim nations in the world have not had their immigration status affected..."
Using your logic, this order should not be called an immigration ban either because it does not affect the immigration status of people in all the other countries in the world.

Majormajor said...

What Jerry doesn't seem to understand is President Trump's action is legal and within his office's power, per the Constitution.

What else is there to discuss?



T. Paine said...

Jerry, you are technically correct that the executive order does not explicitly list any nations (other than Syria) within the text of it; however, it does say the following:

"(c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas)."

The particularly relevant part of U.S. code within it is:

"I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States..."

That section of U.S. code lists those specific countries to which the EO is referencing.

What the executive order does NOT say a single time within it, is "Muslim" or "Islam".

The order's intent is not to "ban Muslims". It's intent is to block any immigrants from those seven specific countries. In that manner, it is a ban of those nations' citizens, sir.

T. Paine said...

Majormajor, you are correct sir. The order is constitutional and well within President Trump's purview as the chief executive of the United States of America in order to enforce existing immigration law so that he may safeguard Americans.

The fact that it is the 9th circuit court that stayed this order is not surprising. It is the most leftwing and most activist judiciaries in the United States. As such, it is also the most overturned circuits via the SCOTUS accordingly. If it comes to it, I suspect this issue will be similarly overturned on constitutional grounds.

Jerry Critter said...

Whether it is constitutional or not is just your opinion. Nothing more. The Supreme Court will probably be called upon to make that call.

It is a Muslim ban because it provides for an exemption for all minority religions...key word minority.

T. Paine said...

You are correct, Jerry. The constitutionality of this is simply a matter of my opinion at this point but a clear reading of the law and constitution seems to support my assertion. As we have seen, those basic things are not necessarily a given with activist courts these days, however.

As for it being a Muslim ban, I would concur that it could be construed as a Muslim ban from those specific countries. It is not a Muslim ban from every other predominantly Muslim nation on the planet however, as the vast majority of Muslims are still allowed to come here, sir. So, if it makes you feel better, I will admit it is a Muslim ban without being a Muslim ban. :)

Jerry Critter said...

TP, Maybe we shouldn't call it an immigration ban either because it does not ban immigrants from all countries.

Majormajor said...

So Jerry, are you saying everything that President Trump does is unconstitutionality until the SCUSA says other wise?

Any American blood shed shed on USA soil due to actions of Islamic Terrorists is now on your hands.

Sleep well.

Jerry Critter said...

Mm - "So Jerry, are you saying everything that President Trump does is unconstitutionality until the SCUSA says other wise?"

Where did I say that? Reference please.

T. Paine said...

"TP, Maybe we shouldn't call it an immigration ban either because it does not ban immigrants from all countries." ~ Mr. Critter

Ah... touche' for you, Jerry! :)

I cannot argue with that logic. Perhaps it should be more accurately called a Temporary Targeted Immigration Restriction Executive Order. Frankly I don't think President Trump is very precise with his language or the execution of some of his orders and plans.

Majormajor, as you well know, I typically am in agreement with you on most all points, my friend, but Jerry is actually one of the good progressives that will entertain your thoughts in debate while articulating his own very cogently. He is a good guy and one of the progressive people I would like to continue to build a dialogue with instead of merely arguing and ranting in sophomoric fashion.

I don't want my blog to devolve into the diatribes and juvenile antics we end up dealing with on Dave's blog, sir. It frankly serves nobody.

Having conversed with Jerry for many years now, I know him well enough to know that his intentions are good and he certainly does not wish ill to befall anyone by ISIS or otherwise. He is obviously wrong in his analysis, but his motives for his opinions are good, I am certain.

T. Paine said...

All of that said, I appreciate your contributing to the conversation, Majormajor! I hope you will continue to do so here!

Majormajor said...

Jerry.,

If you re-read my post you will see that I asked you a question, so what's your answer?

Jerry Critter said...

Thank you, TP, for your kind words. As fas as Majormajor goes, I usually ignore his comments/questions. Although it is fun to tweak him occasionally.

Majormajor said...

Jerry.,

If you re-read my post you will see that I asked you a question, so what's your answer?

How very typical of you Jerry, when confronted with an answer or a question you retreat to your self appointed position of delusional superiority.

How's that for tweaking?

Burr Deming said...

Interesting argument, T. Paine.

I'm a little puzzled by your reference to President Obama's signing of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015.

You have obviously researched this carefully, so you may know something I do not. My all too simple understanding is that the act did not ban immigration or affect any refugee status.

If I have it right, citizens from certain countries had had the ability for decades of traveling to and from the United States for short stays without a visa. I think that this right is by joint agreement among a few dozen countries.

The law you mentioned suspended that right for the nations you mentioned. So citizens from those countries visiting the US would have to obtain a Visa, like most everyone else.

While controversial at the time, and interesting even now, it does not pertain to your argument.

Am I wrong about what that law involved?

Majormajor said...

Weighing in on one of the most contentious issues in American politics — the danger posed to host countries by the 4.8 million people who have fled from Syria’s civil war — Syrian President Bashar Assad told Yahoo News that some of the refugees are “definitely” terrorists.

Michael Isikoff
Chief Investigative Correspondent
Yahoo NewsFebruary 9, 2017

Thank liberals, any American blood shed in the USA due to Islamic Terrorists is now on you hands.


T. Paine said...

Mr. Deming, the purpose of that legislation that President Obama signed was such that if they (foreign nationals) did not have the proper biometric documentation that they would have to apply for a visa in person in order to vet them and determine their eligibility to travel to the United States. In particular, many of the same nations mentioned in President Trump's EO are specified.

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/visa-waiver-program/visa-waiver-program-improvement-and-terrorist-travel-prevention-act-faq

woodenman1954 said...

I am not a big fan of unlimited immigration on the theory that if you let too many people into the lifeboat, it sinks with everyone on board. Norway comes to mind, they let in thousands from Africa and are paying a big price for it.

They were too Liberal giving too many benefits away,free housing,food stamps, cash vouches, full health care and education and a TV. Their taxes went up as did crime and assaults. The Muslims hold marches and protest to get more benefits but they do not work or assimilate into Norwegian culture.

On the other hand the US is responsible for creating all the refugees in Europe by destroying nine different countries so we owe them something in return. We are creating death and chaos all over the world because of our evil and stupid foreign policy.

Jerry Critter said...

Woody, liberals are not in favor of unlimited immigration.

T. Paine said...

Woodenman, thanks first of all for your comment.

I absolutely agree with you regarding "unlimited" immigration. Further, while I think we should allow some refugees fleeing from tyranny into our nation (IF they can be properly and safely vetted), I do not generally think it is a good idea to allow all comers. If people are wishing to enter the U.S. simply to live off of the welfare system, than they should not be allowed. They should have the skills and desire to be able to provide for themselves, rather than simply relying on the goodwill of taxpayers. Your example of Norway would seem to support this, sir.

Immigration brings many wonderful benefits to our one-time melting pot of America. The desire to assimilate into American culture should be encouraged though. Indeed many of the immigrants that I have had the privilege of knowing are exceptionally motivated and hardworking. They are truly seeking the American Dream. Our culture, and especially many Millennials that I know could learn from such examples.

As for your comment about our "evil foreign policy", would you please elaborate with specifics of which you speak? I agree that we have made some very poor decisions but I don't know that I would agree that our foreign policy as a whole rises to the level of evilness, sir.

T. Paine said...

Jerry, I have met far too many liberals that are indeed in favor of unlimited immigration and a world without borders. I realize that you are not one of these good folks.

Jerry Critter said...

TP, I'm afraid that you need to start meeting a better class of people. 😉

T. Paine said...

In some cases, you are probably right, Jerry. That said, most of the liberals I know are very good people. Often times their motivations are for good. They are simply misguided or don't fully understand the full ramifications of their desires and would-be policies.

Jerry Critter said...

TP - "They are simply misguided or don't fully understand the full ramifications of their desires and would-be policies. "

I'm not so sure that I can say that about many of today's conservatives, and I feel that that is unfortunate.

T. Paine said...

Oh, don't get me wrong, Jerry. Sadly there are plenty of liberals that are full of intolerance for anything or anyone that does not tow their line of orthodoxy. These are the hateful ones that would rather throw rocks at police, torch cars, and riot on college campuses. I have little use for these fools that think that resorting to violence is the answer. That is not misguided. It is criminal and should be dealt with as such.

Yes, there are some conservatives that are just as hateful and intolerant and I have no use for them either. I don't see them rioting however and shutting down free speech at town halls. For those that do so, I put them in the same category as those fools on the left that do such things.

Majormajor said...

My question to Jerry and Woodenman is since they are opposed to open border, are they also opposed to building a wall, enforcing our immigration laws, deporting those who are here illegally, and heighten vetting of refugees?

If most liberals are opposed to open borders, did I miss their protest march?

woodenman1954 said...

The idea that the US foreign policy is evil is indisputable. From 1953 when we overthrew the democratically elected leader and installed the Sha and a CIA trained secret police, to 2015 when we did the same in the Ukraine is evidence enough.

We made life a living hell in Iran for millions of people until they revolted in 1979 when the Sha came here for cancer treatments. We started a civil war in the Ukraine forcing the Russians to take back the Crimea and that war is ongoing.

WE went into Iraq and killed a million or more people for profit and to make Israel happy. The depleted uranium weapons used there are causing thousands of birth defects. We are bombing civilians in nine countries every day with drones.

Since the Vietnam war we have killed more people in more countries than you can keep track of.

Majormajor said...

We started a civil war in the Ukraine forcing the Russians to take back the Crimea and that war is ongoing.

Was the under Nobel Peace Award wining President Obama?

woodenman1954 said...

Yes it was Chuck, if you want to be better informed go to Information Clearing House, it is the best site on the web at this time.

Majormajor said...

Wow, Woodenman, does this mean I can blame the black guy? ;-)

T. Paine said...

Well, I am afraid that this is where you and I part ways on our agreement, Woodenman.

I acknowledge and agree that we have been involved in nations where we should have kept our noses out of. And then again, there are always extenuating circumstances that require that either we get involved or other world powers like the former Soviet Union would have. We must balance our national interests and those of the people being used as pawns.

Yes, we were supportive of the Shah of Iran but his overthrow and the setting up the theocratic reign of the ayatollahs has resulted in Iran being one of the largest state sponsors of terror in the world. They are now, with the assistance of our asinine former president, working towards eventually being a nuclear power. This is already causing an arms race in the region as Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Muslim nations are greatly concerned. Our lack of control there has only made a dangerous situation far far worse.

As for the Ukraine, the Crimea was a part of Ukraine; NOT Russia. Russia saw a weak and feckless United States under President Obama and realized they could annex it and gain strategic control of the Black Sea through its ports. The people of Ukraine elected leaders that were adversarial to Russia. They wanted NATO membership. Instead we allowed Russia to re-annex parts of Ukraine reminiscent of their Soviet expansion era.

As for Iraq, there were many very good reasons for going into that nation as we did. Profit was hardly the motivating factor as it has proven to be exceptionally expensive. See my previous post for reasons why we went to war there, in my opinion: http://savingcommonsense.blogspot.com/2015/08/re-fighting-iraq-war.html

Personally, I think the United States should help countries through diplomatic and economic means via trade when possible. We should not engage in ANY military hostilities unless war is declared as per the constitution or in accordance with the War Powers Act. Neither party has been good with this in recent decades. If that was the extent of your complaint, then I would be in agreement with you. The Howard Zinn hate-America propaganda and false rhetoric I unequivocally denounce, sir.