Thomas Gallatin / January 30, 2017

Behind the Immigration Ban Hysterics

Trump’s travel ban on foreigners is not what the Left claims it is.

From references made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the Statue of Liberty crying to CNN running the headline, “Trump bans 134,000,000 from the U.S.,” the Left and the mainstream media are jumping up and down in hysteria over Donald Trump’s Friday executive orders on vetting refugees. Adding fuel to the controversy were stories of green card holders being prevented entry, forcing the administration to offer a clarification, with Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly stating, “In applying the provisions of the President’s executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest. Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.” Even The Wall Street Journal headlined a story that read, “Donald Trump’s Immigration Ban Sows Chaos.”

So what’s the deal here? Are Trump’s actions as “extreme” as the mainstream media insists? Has the White House been taken over by a nativist? Is Trump Hitler 2.0? The facts reveal quite a different story from the hysteria currently being peddled by the Leftmedia.

First, motive. Trump maintained during his entire campaign that the safety of Americans would be a top priority. The order states in part, “In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its found principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including "honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.“ His actions on Friday are yet another example of him following through on his promises. Trump has correctly assessed that Washington’s politically correct attitude toward immigration has created a climate ripe for a Trojan horse-like infiltration taking advantage of the nation’s lax controls. His order is not an attack on a religion, ethnic group or region of the world.

Trump’s concerns or actions are not new or unprecedented, as Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and, yes, even Barack Obama enacted similar temporary bans, and justified those bans out of concern for the safety of Americans. And Trump is rightly acting within the president’s legal authority.

Second, the "extreme” adjective that has been bandied about by media pundits from all sides is quite simply absurd. A quick look at history and numbers confirms this. Trump’s capping of refugees at 50,000 per year is nothing new. Both George W. Bush and Obama averaged the same number until 2016, when Obama expanded the number significantly. In reality, Trump is simply bringing the numbers back down to previously established levels. If anyone is to be faulted for extreme actions on refugees, it’s Obama.

Third, the order will seek to revamp the refugee processing in order to prioritize those of minority religious groups fleeing the persecution of radical Islamists. This will specifically help Christians but also other minorities who have suffered from rising persecution over the last few years. This is a significant change from Obama’s policy that did not favor minority religions in the refugee processing.

Fourth, the ban is temporary — 120 days — as DHS 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.” And the ban has an exemption clause: “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 reality, the Leftmedia’s exasperation over Trump’s actions is a strategy aimed at delegitimizing Trump in a effort to subvert his unapologetic “America First” policy. The Left is committed to its globalist vision and will do everything it can to derail Trump.

In hindsight, Trump may have acted too quickly, especially if he failed to fully vet the plan internally. This has allowed the Leftmedia to unleash a barrage of misinformation that is proving to sow confusion and creating the false perception of the order being extreme. On the other hand, the Left’s assertion that key security officials were kept in the dark is spurious. According to Sec. Kelly, “We did know the [executive order] was coming. We had people involved in the general drafting of it.” Kelly also argued, “This is not a travel ban; this is a temporary pause. This is not, I repeat, not a ban on Muslims.”

Mark Alexander’s perspective: “This and other Trump initiatives will come down to who wins the battle for perception, not the facts, and indeed, if the Leftmedia prevails in portraying the Trump administration as a ‘clown show,’ then the Trump experiment, electing a CEO who has never held elective office at any level of government, is not going to end well. Cabinet members of the caliber of Gen. Kelley at DHS and Gen. Mattis at DOD will not hang around indefinitely if, as reported, they are repeatedly being bypassed on major issues like this.”

Alexander adds: “If Trump continues to formulate tweets and executive orders in a vacuum, as if he can control the media script as tightly as he did the script for his successful reality show, then he could do more damage to Republicans in four years than Obama did to Democrats in eight. Some of Trump’s "chaos” is actually calculated, for better or worse, and one certain outcome is that it has the policy wonks and career bureaucrats on the ropes. But Trump and company should not be burning capital on EOs that they’re going to need for much more critical issues — like the Supreme Court.“

(Edited)

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