A Muslim Ban in All But Name

A Muslim Ban In All But NameSo on the 27th, Trump started with the Muslim ban that the population knows is coming by issuing one of the stupider executive orders in his first week in office. But it wasn’t just stupid. (That would be the first one he signed.) It is cruel. It is confusing. And it references things that make no sense in the context in which it was issued. Worst, it stripped denizens of the US, who have a legal right to be here, of due process.

First, a brief overview of the power the president has over immigration and movement of people into the United States. Congress has given broad latitude for the president to determine who gets to come moseying on in to the country. Conservatives have already started squawking about 8 US Code 1182f. It was contradicted by a later law that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of place of residence. Unsurprisingly the conservatives haven’t noticed that part. Or if they have, they gloss over it.

So the president has broad powers. Which means that in theory, this type of an order could be issued. It could even make sense. After all, way back in 2011, Obama issued a short term ban of people coming into the US from Iraq. Except he didn’t since refugees don’t come in on visas and they were still allowed to slowly come in to get away from the war we started. Oh, and the president didn’t act the fool and ignore everyone who might tell him no.

Why a Muslim Ban in These Seven Countries?

This all means that there must be some reason to want to ban these seven countries, right? After all, terrorists only come from the seven countries. That is why the only attackers the US has had have been from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and… Wait! None of these countries are on the list! So the reason for banning immigrants from these seven country can’t be because there is or has been a huge uptick in threats against the United States.

It must be because they are in a state of war! After all, it says in the order, “Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.” Except Iran isn’t in a state of war. Neither is — What a surprise! — Somalia. Somalia does have a problem with a persistent terrorist group but overall it has been stabilized and continues to improve.

The other countries are in states of war but the order doesn’t explain why they would all immediately schlepp over to the US to blow up buildings, shoot up population centers (that’s the white man’s job), or do other things that will harm Americans. After all, if they want to harm others, they can do so at home.

We Won’t Deal With Anyone Not Just Like Us

Then the order talks about this: “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.” What?! Why would you demand people who come here to gawk at the Grand Canyon, the mess that is Cleveland, and put on Mouse Ears in California or Florida have to say they agree with the US Constitution? Our Constitution is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it demands they be disloyal to the constitutions of their own countries. This is the first time that visitors have to support American law over your own homegrown law that might be less violent, since they don’t involve the death penalty.

But that is just the start. The rest of it is the actual orders that the Homeland and State Secretaries have to implement. All of which I think is an insult to the hardworking employees who are on the ground who have been trained to carefully and thoroughly vet candidates for the refugee and other systems. This idea that government employees tasked with making sure Americans stay safe are incompetent is a bizarre fantasy of the right, which includes the very people who actually work in those positions!

Why This? Why Now?

It cuts the number of refugees from the 85,000 – 100,000 to 50,000. No reason given, just a drop. And it prioritizes those of a “persecuted faith” (Christian, not Jewish is the obvious context here). This is getting very close if not over the line (based on public statements of the current White House occupant) of establishing a state religion.

Those are just some of the problems with the order itself. It was poorly drafted, cruel, and violates the spirit of the law. And based on the way it’s implemented, stripped people of rights who are entitled based on the Constitution’s view of due process.

I am, of course, not the only person to notice this order’s many many problems.

Possibly, next time I can go over the massive problems this will cause us worldwide since these actions don’t take place in a vacuum. But there will be another outrage tomorrow.

“Do Not!” by Stevie Smith

Stevie Smith - Do Not!Do not despair of man, and do not scold him,
Who are you that you should so lightly hold him?
Are you not also a man, and in your heart
Are there not warlike thoughts and fear and smart?
Are you not also afraid and in fear cruel,
Do you not think of yourself as usual,
Faint for ambition, desire to be loved,
Prick at a virtuous thought by beauty moved?
You love your wife, you hold your children dear,
Then say not that Man is vile, but say they are.
But they are not. So is your judgement shown
Presumptuous, false, quite vain, merely your own
Sadness for failed ambition set outside,
Made a philosophy of, prinked, beautified
In noble dress and into the world sent out
To run with the ill it most pretends to rout.
Oh know your own heart, that heart’s not wholly evil,
And from the particular judge the general,
If judge you must, but with compassion see life,
Or else, of yourself despairing, flee strife.

–Stevie Smith
“Do Not!”