As I look at news headlines and peoples' posts on social media, I see hysteria on both sides of the aisle. I also see lies and half truths being told. There needs to be a Voice of Reason- looking just at the facts. The truth has no agenda- facts are what they are.
As a Constitutionalist, I see very little, actual power that can be used with an Executive Order. Legally, an EO must cite the legislation affected, and essentially tell the authorities how they must enforce the law that was duly passed by the legislature.
People on the left are apoplectic over this “abuse of power-” where was all this outrage when Obama was abusing his power? Where were the concerns about the Constitution then? People who only care about the abuse of power when "their" candidate is in office have zero credibility. Criticism, if it's going to be taken seriously, must be consistent no matter which party is in control.
This action seems rushed through, and I don't believe that they thought out all of the potential consequences. There was no warning or memo as to what to do or expect when a significant change such as this was directed to take place. Nothing was done to address those travelers who were in process, and on flights in the air, when the order came in. Planning needed to occur over days, if not weeks to ensure that the transition would go smoothly.
The Executive Order is NOT "Muslim ban."
There are seven countries affected by the restrictions: Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iraq. None of these nations are in the top ten Muslim nations by population. These seven countries were all listed in the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. Four of the nations were originally listed and then the other three were added in 2016. There was concern that foreign fighters could come as refugees, so this act was passed and signed by President Obama in 2015. This current action simply puts the brakes on immigration until proper vetting can be accomplished.
I see headlines from Trump's critics on both sides of the aisle, accusing him of leaving nations off the list because he has "business" interests with those not on it. However, the concern driving this action is a carry over from the Obama administration for the reasons of security in the future, not punishment for past problems. While we have not had a terror attack on our shores committed by a refugee, other nations have. It is prudent that we properly vet those who are coming here to live in our communities.
There are “carve outs” for special circumstances. People with “green cards,” or who live and work in the US and are here legally, will be able to come and go. “Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”
The travel ban is temporary- 90 days for visas and 120 days for refugees. For those who went to public school, temporary is not forever, even though waiting 90 days for something you want, does seem like forever. The whole purpose is not to stop immigrants from ever again casting a shadow on our soil, but is to make sure the ones who do, will not do us harm.
The headlines also claimed that a Federal Judge had stopped the Trump ban. In reality, the judge only addressed those held in “limbo” by the sudden order. It affects only those in the process, or those in the air when the order was signed. This simply made sense. This allowed the DHS extra time to work these issues out, without deporting those individuals.
The Syrian civil war began in 2011. That year, the Obama administration allowed 29 refugees. Subsequent years saw 31, 35, 105 and 1682 in 2015. The total for 2016 was about 13,000. For the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to suddenly shed tears is hardly credible.
In his rush to keep his campaign promise, the Trump administration was not prepared for all of the possible problems with the E.O. Instead, political opponents are using the visual of a crying child stranded at an airport to reinforce the narrative of "fear" and "hate." All that could have been prevented with just a little warning and coordination with DHS.
Why was there anxiety over Trump’s order to “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality?” If we are to truly try to help those in greatest need, is that not necessary in a region of religious persecution? Shia Muslims are being killed and displaced as much as Christians and Yezidis. The vetting process includes a religious preference for a reason- because many are persecuted and killed just because of their beliefs.
Religious considerations are by law, part of refugee and asylum policy.
There has been a build-up of attacks worldwide related to Islamic Jihad and refugees. The Heritage Foundation tracked terror attacks since 9/11. See that interactive chart here with a list of all attacks and their related details.
All of a sudden, the media suddenly is worried that Donald Trump is transforming America. Where was their concern when Barack Obama openly stated that was his plan? I frequently say that “Everyone likes a tyrant, as long as it is their tyrant.” Trump set a limit of 50,000 refugees, which is about average for the past several years, including Obama’s years. See the chart from the Migration Policy Institute above.
Until, and unless, the media and the people stop taking sides and pushing agendas, our republic will continue to be in peril. We have people who don’t care how things are done as long as they are done. People ignore government excessive spending and use of power as long as they like what is being done - and then those on the other side are outraged.
I think both sides are tired of the excesses. It is time we joined forces, rather than fighting with each other, and fight the real enemy - an ever expanding and intrusive government.
Former President Obama decided to weigh in today.
Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis issued a statement from the former president:
"President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as president, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy — not just during an election but every day.
"Citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble, organize, and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.
"With regard to comparisons to President Obama's foreign policy decisions, as we've heard before, the president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion."
To this author, it seems the former president is unable to see that he was the originator of this policy and the nations involved. He also does not understand the law, but that's no surprise. It is good to see he appreciates community activism only when it is promoting what he likes- just like when he was in office. (What else is new?)
What a truly unifying statement- sarcasm intended.