Skip to comments.Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees — Separating Fact from Hysteria
Posted on 01/28/2017 5:59:06 PM PST by SeekAndFind
To read the online commentary, one would think that President Trump just fundamentally corrupted the American character. You would think that the executive order on refugees he signed yesterday betrayed Americas Founding ideals. You might even think he banned people from an entire faith from American shores.
Just look at the rhetoric. Heres Chuck Schumer:
Chuck Schumer of Trumps extreme vetting Exec. Order: Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight. pic.twitter.com/ONz3Ss6BJ5 Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 28, 2017
If you thought only Senator Schumer saw tears in Lady Libertys eyes, think again. Heres Nancy Pelosi:
Pelosi blasts Trumps extreme vetting Exec. Order: This Administration has mistaken cruelty for strength and prejudice for strategy. pic.twitter.com/LNBnDTNvGe Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 28, 2017
CNN, doing its best Huffington Post impersonation, ran a headline declaring Trump bans 134,000,000 from the U.S. The Huffington Post, outdoing itself, just put the Statue of Liberty upside down on its front page.
So, what did Trump do? Did he implement his promised Muslim ban? No, far from it. He backed down dramatically from his campaign promises and instead signed an executive order dominated mainly by moderate refugee restrictions and temporary provisions aimed directly at limiting immigration from jihadist conflict zones.
Lets analyze the key provisions, separate the fact from the hysteria, and introduce just a bit of historical perspective.
First, the order temporarily halts refugee admissions for 120 days to improve the vetting process, then caps refugee admissions at 50,000 per year. Outrageous, right? Not so fast. Before 2016, when Obama dramatically ramped up refugee admissions, Trumps 50,000 stands roughly in between a typical year of refugee admissions in George W. Bushs two terms and a typical year in Obamas two terms. The chart below, from the Migration Policy Institute, is instructive:
In 2002, the United States admitted only 27,131 refugees. It admitted fewer than 50,000 in 2003, 2006, and 2007. As for President Obama, he was slightly more generous than President Bush, but his refugee cap from 2013 to 2015 was a mere 70,000, and in 2011 and 2012 he admitted barely more than 50,000 refugees himself.
The bottom line is that Trump is improving security screening and intends to admit refugees at close to the average rate of the 15 years before Obamas dramatic expansion in 2016. Obamas expansion was a departure from recent norms, not Trumps contraction.
Second, the order imposes a temporary, 90-day ban on people entering the U.S. from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. These are countries either torn apart by jihadist violence or under the control of hostile, jihadist governments.
The ban is in place while the Department of Homeland Security determines the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat. It could, however, be extended or expanded depending on whether countries are capable of providing the requested information.
The ban, however, contains an important exception: 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. In other words, the secretaries can make exceptions a provision that would, one hopes, fully allow interpreters and other proven allies to enter the U.S. during the 90-day period.
To the extent this ban applies to new immigrant and non-immigrant entry, this temporary halt (with exceptions) is wise. We know that terrorists are trying to infiltrate the ranks of refugees and other visitors. We know that immigrants from Somalia, for example, have launched jihadist attacks here at home and have sought to leave the U.S. to join ISIS.
Indeed, given the terrible recent track record of completed and attempted terror attacks by Muslim immigrants, its clear that our current approach is inadequate to control the threat. Unless we want to simply accept Muslim immigrant terror as a fact of American life, a short-term ban on entry from problematic countries combined with a systematic review of our security procedures is both reasonable and prudent.
However, there are reports that the ban is being applied even to green-card holders. This is madness. The plain language of the order doesnt apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., and green-card holders have been through round after round of vetting and security checks. The administration should intervene, immediately, to stop misapplication. If, however, the Trump administration continues to apply the order to legal permanent residents, it should indeed be condemned.
Third, Trumps order also puts an indefinite hold on admission of Syrian refugees to the United States until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest. This is perhaps the least consequential aspect of his order and is largely a return to the Obama administrations practices from 2011 to 2014. For all the Democrats wailing and gnashing of teeth, until 2016 the Obama administration had already largely slammed the door on Syrian-refugee admissions.
The Syrian Civil War touched off in 2011. Here are the Syrian-refugee admissions to the U.S. until Obama decided to admit more than 13,000 in 2016:
Fiscal Year 2011: 29
Fiscal Year 2012: 31
Fiscal Year 2013: 36
Fiscal Year 2014: 105
Fiscal Year 2015: 1,682
To recap: While the Syrian Civil War was raging, ISIS was rising, and refugees were swamping Syrias neighbors and surging into Europe, the Obama administration let in less than a trickle of refugees. Only in the closing days of his administration did President Obama reverse course in numbers insufficient to make a dent in the overall crisis, by the way and now the Democrats have the audacity to tweet out pictures of bleeding Syrian children?
Its particularly gross to see this display when the Obama administrations deliberate decision to leave a yawning power vacuum in part through its Iraq withdrawal and in part through its dithering throughout the Syrian Civil War exacerbated the refugee crisis in the first place. There was a genocide on Obamas watch, and his tiny trickle of Syrian refugees hardly makes up for the grotesque negligence of abandoning Iraq and his years-long mishandling of the emerging Syrian crisis.
When we know our enemy is seeking to strike America and its allies through the refugee population, when we know theyve succeeded in Europe, and when the administration has doubts about our ability to adequately vet the refugees we admit into this nation, a pause is again not just prudent but arguably necessary. It is important that we provide sufficient aid and protection to keep refugees safe and healthy in place, but it is not necessary to bring Syrians to the United States to fulfill our vital moral obligations.
Fourth, there is a puzzling amount of outrage over Trumps directive 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 individuals country of nationality. In other words, once refugee admissions resume, members of minority religions may well go to the front of the line. In some countries, this means Christians and Yazidis. In others, it can well mean Muslims.
Sadly, during the Obama administration it seems that Christians and other minorities may well have ended up in the back of the line. For example, when Obama dramatically expanded Syrian refugee admissions in 2016, few Christians made the cut:
The Obama administration has resettled 13,210 Syrian refugees into the United States since the beginning of 2016 an increase of 675 percent over the same 10-month period in 2015.
Of those, 13,100 (99.1 percent) are Muslims 12,966 Sunnis, 24 Shia, and 110 other Muslims and 77 (0.5 percent) are Christians. Another 24 (0.18 percent) are Yazidis.
As a point of reference, in 2015 Christians represented roughly 10 percent of Syrias population. Perhaps theres an innocent explanation for the disparity. Perhaps not. But one thing is clear federal asylum and refugee law already require a religious test. As my colleague Andy McCarthy has repeatedly pointed out, an alien seeking asylum must establish that . . . religion [among other things] . . . was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.
Similarly, the term refugee means (A) any person who is outside any country of such persons nationality . . . and who is unable or unwilling to return to . . . that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of . . . religion [among other things] . . . [.]
But dont tell CNNs chief national security correspondent, who last night tweeted this:
There is no basis to the claim Muslim refugees were prioritized over Christians. Fact is, refugee policy not based in religion, until now. Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) January 28, 2017
False. False. False. Religious considerations are by law part of refugee policy. And it is entirely reasonable to give preference (though not exclusivity) to members of minority religions.
Finally, you can read the entire executive order from start to finish, reread it, then read it again, and you will not find a Muslim ban. Its not there. Nowhere. At its most draconian, it temporarily halts entry from jihadist regions. In other words, Trumps executive order is a dramatic climb-down from his worst campaign rhetoric.
To be sure, however, the ban is deeply problematic as applied to legal residents of the U.S. and to interpreters and other allies seeking refuge in the United States after demonstrated (and courageous) service to the United States. Twitter timelines are coming alive with stories of Iraqi interpreters whove saved American lives. Few have bled more in alliance with America than Iraqs Kurds, but the order itself provides for the necessary case-by-case exemptions to the temporary blanket bans. It is vital that General John Kelly, the newly confirmed secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, move expeditiously to protect those whove laid down their lives in the war against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban. Given his own wartime experience, I believe and hope that he will.
Trumps order was not signed in a vacuum. Look at the Heritage Foundations interactive timeline of Islamist terror plots since 9/11. Note the dramatic increase in planned and executed attacks since 2015. Now is not the time for complacency. Now is the time to take a fresh look at our border-control and immigration policies. Trumps order isnt a betrayal of American values. Applied correctly and competently, it can represent a promising fresh start and a prelude to new policies that protect our nation while still maintaining American compassion and preserving American friendships.
David French is a staff writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and an attorney.
District judge just ordered a national stay. So now more will flood in while this goes up the ladder
Don’t confuse the liberals with the facts . . .
trump had to know this Obama judge would block it so what’s next?
I’m not even going to read the article.
If you are a citizen or lawful resident, you must be allowed to return.
All others are SOL as a right of sovereignty.
Prolly overturned by a higher court in the next hour, by a respectable American court.
This article is a must-read.
Aside, I’ve been listening to CNN off and on, and the only instance of a ‘interpreter’ being detained (and released to go his way) was a single incident, that a bunch of people were getting hysterical over.
Indignant Poppy is covering a few dozen sheeple protesting a handful of people being detained in customs on arrival.
You’d think it was the Siagon Airlift in progress the way people are carrying on in true dramaqueen fashion as the each joggle to be the first to call Americans ‘racist’.
Trump’s Contract With The Voters
Point 18. Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.
This Obama judge did nothing when Obama did the same thing, but now thumbs his nose at the American electorate with his ruling.
Enough of this judicial tyranny!
Lots of articles all over the net claiming Green Card holders are being prevented form entering the U.S.
Might be a ploy to make Trump look bad.
National Review says the plain language of the order does not apply to Green Card Holders.
“However, there are reports that the ban is being applied even to green-card holders. This is madness. The plain language of the order doesnt apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., and green-card holders have been through round after round of vetting and security checks. The administration should intervene, immediately, to stop misapplication. If, however, the Trump administration continues to apply the order to legal permanent residents, it should indeed be condemned.”
I suspect sabotage. We will see how it shakes out.
The murderous mad bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his brother and family were Afghani refugees who regularly returned to the place they claimed to have fled.
President Trump has got to show rogue federal judges his strong pimp hand, or they will try to frustrate everything he was elected to do.
People from these countries do not belong in America, ever. The left is trying to overthrow out govt by bringing in people from these backwaters who will vote leftist. America, should stop allowing any immigration.We don’t need it and it adds nothing to our nation.
The NWO plan is to flood our nation with 3rd world non whites who will vote left wing, divide and destroy this nation. If we are going to defeat the communist from destroying this nation we must overthrow the immigration act of 1965 and halt immigration into this nation. We have enough minorities here now. Allow Christian whites from Europe.
We must reinforce western values in this nation. That means western people only allowed in.
You might read it. Nice analysis not available on the regular media sites, even those semi-friendly to Trump.
I have a doctor friend that was visiting her family and can’t get back without a waiver. She has a green card and has worked here for years. She has a full patient schedule and can’t get back to them. The patients, her family here at home and the hospital will all suffer. It sucks. I do hope that cases like this are cleared quickly. She was doing it the right way. Hate for her to be punished for it. Does anyone have any more in depth information on the waiver process? I truly don’t understand how this works.
Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 states: Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
The order says there is a case by case exception, especially for people in transit.
I expect the details to be worked out rather quickly.
I do hope so! Its kind of scary for her right now. I know a lot of this is hype but she is stuck. Its very real to her!
Please keep us informed of what happens.
Can you state what country she is in/returning from?
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