OPINION: Trump’s Immigration Order — The Stunning Double Standard

In the words of John Steinbeck, we are truly living in the winter of our discontent. Watching cable news, it would appear that our nation is in an existential and constitutional crisis, and there is only one man to blame: President Donald Trump.

Outrage has sprung up in the wake of Trump’s executive orders on U.S. immigration policy, including a temporary travel ban from 7 Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Let’s be very clear about something. There is NOTHING in President Trump’s immigration executive order that wasn’t created and introduced in the “Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015,” signed into law by then President Obama.

Opponents call it a “Muslim ban.” Yet, the order doesn’t specifically target Muslims. It focuses travel restrictions on anyone of any religion from countries that were designated in the 2015 act.

Huh?

There is NOTHING in President Trump’s immigration executive order that wasn’t created and introduced in the 'Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015.'

Yep. The countries whose citizens are barred from entering the United States for a temporary period are based on measures that President Barack Obama signed into law in December 2015.

And as I recall, after Obama signed the bill, there weren’t airport protests, senators crying, judges making political statements, or calls to remove the president from office.

I also have no recollection of the media and left-leaning members of Congress shouting disapproval when President Obama stopped processing Iraqi visas for SIX months in 2013 when al-Qaeda members faked refugee status to get relocated to Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The double standard occurring in this country right now is stunning.

Obama signed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act as part of a spending bill. The order restricted visa waivers for seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen — and now, Trump is doing the same thing.

President Trump isn’t suspending visas from countries HIS administration selected. They are halting visas from countries President Obama selected in 2013 and then added to in 2015 and 2016.  President Trump’s order suspends ALL applications from those countries, not “Muslims,” as critics suggest.

As for the order itself. Here are the highlights and a link:

  • For three months, the order bars the entry of any refugee who is awaiting resettlement in the U.S.
  • The order prohibits all Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. until further notice.
  • The order, like Obama’s, bans the citizens of seven countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen—from entering the U.S. on any visa category.

The suggestion that there is a huge public outcry over the “Muslim ban” might also be a bit exaggerated. A new Rasmussen poll finds that 57% of likely U.S. voters actually favor a temporary ban on refugees from the countries listed in the executive order. 

The fury over this immigration order will likely die down over the next 12-24 hours as word spreads of the facts associated with the order, but tomorrow night, a new crisis will emerge as President Trump announces his Supreme Court pick to a national audience.

“We can shoot rockets into space but we can’t cure anger or discontent.” – John Steinbeck

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