Donald Trump’s Immigration Order Is Horrifying | Time.com
2017/01/31 Leave a comment
Hopefully, the Trump administration will learn from this and ensure proper vetting of all future policy decisions.
But I am not hopeful given their tendency to dig in rather than listen (the Holocaust Day press release not mentioning Jewish victims being a case in point):
The malevolence of President Trump’s Executive Order on visas and refugees is mitigated chiefly—and perhaps only—by the astonishing incompetence of its drafting and construction.
NBC is reporting that the document was not reviewed by DHS, the Justice Department, the State Department, or the Department of Defense, and that National Security Council lawyers were prevented from evaluating it. Moreover, the New York Times writes that Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, the agencies tasked with carrying out the policy, were only given a briefing call while Trump was actually signing the order itself. Yesterday, the Department of Justice gave a “no comment” when asked whether the Office of Legal Counsel had reviewed Trump’s executive orders—including the order at hand. (OLC normally reviews every executive order.)
This order reads to me, frankly, as though it was not reviewed by competent counsel at all.
Administration officials weren’t immediately sure which countries’ citizens would be barred from entering the United States. The Department of Homeland Security was left making a legal analysis on the order after Trump signed it. A Border Patrol agent, confronted with arriving refugees, referred questions only to the President himself, according to court filings.
. . .It wasn’t until Friday — the day Trump signed the order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days — that career homeland security staff were allowed to see the final details of the order, a person with the familiar the matter said.
. . .The policy team at the White House developed the executive order on refugees and visas, and largely avoided the traditional interagency process that would have allowed the Justice Department and homeland security agencies to provide operational guidance, according to numerous officials who spoke to CNN on Saturday.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Department of Homeland Security leadership saw the final details shortly before the order was finalized, government officials said.
Friday night, DHS arrived at the legal interpretation that the executive order restrictions applying to seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen — did not apply to people who with lawful permanent residence, generally referred to as green card holders.
The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout. That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Their decision held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card holders to enter the US.
As I shall explain, in the short term, the incompetence is actually good news for people who believe in visa and refugee policies based on criteria other than—let’s not be coy about this—bigotry and religious discrimination. The President has created a target-rich environment for litigation that will make his policies, I suspect, less effective than they would have been had he subjected his order to vetting one percent as extreme as the vetting to which he proposes to subject refugees from Bashar al-Assad and the bombing raids of Vladimir Putin.
Candice Malcolm in the Sun highlights issues pertaining to dual nationals, of particular concern given her husband’s Iranian ancestry, but finds little fault with the other aspects of the executive order:
There is a lot to unpack in Trump’s EO, and while trying to understand the law and its impact, it’s important to separate the facts from the hysteria.
First, and despite the rhetoric, this is not a Muslim Ban.
The vast majority of the world’s Muslims, including all American Muslims, will not be directly affected by this order.
The EO includes a four-month pause on all refugees, and a three-month ban on all citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. The ban includes all citizens of these seven countries, including Muslims, Christians, Jews, and athiests. The order does not list any religion, nor does it ban people from the world’s most populous Muslim countries.
Second, it is untrue that no nationals of the countries on Trump ban list have perpetrated an act of Islamic terrorism on US soil.
Both the 2016 mall attack in St. Cloud, Minnesota and the attack at Ohio State University were carried out by Somali nationals. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks.
Senators Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz released a report highlighting the 580 individuals who have been convicted on terrorism charges in the U.S. since the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks. Of the 380 foreign-born terrorists, 21 were from Somalia, 20 were from Yemen and 19 were from Iraq.
Curiously, the largest terrorists-producing countries, including Pakistan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories are not included in the blanket ban. Likewise, the 9/11 hijackers were mostly from Saudi Arabia, another country not included in the ban.
That Trump didn’t include these countries is puzzling, and undermines the national security rationale behind this order.
The most troubling aspect of this order is the blanket ban on nationals from seven countries. The wording is clunky – simply saying the US will “suspend entry” for these nationals.
There is a difference between increased screening and a flat-out ban. This is a ban that will turn away lawful residents at the border.
There have been contradictory reports and messages from different government offices, but it seems that the ban applies to legal residents, green-card holders and even dual citizens travelling with Canadian passports.
There have been reports of green-card holders being handcuffed and detained at U.S. airports. This is reckless and wrong.