Analysis: Seven Inconvenient Facts About Trump’s Refugee Actions

The sober and logical reasons for President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees and visitors are rising above the noise after an evening of hysterical over-reactions and emotional meltdowns on the nation’s TV networks. Advocates of sane, secure immigration policy have long noted that it’s almost impossible to have a reasonable discussion of the refugee and immigration issues, because it’s been sentimentalized and politicized beyond the realm of rational thought. This weekend brings them another superb example of media-magnified shrieking about fascism, bleating about “white nationalists,” howling about “religious persecution,” false invocations of the Constitution, and theatrical sobbing on behalf of the Statue of Liberty. For readers who want to wallow in the emotion, examples can be found in this handy dossier of hysteria compiled by the Washington Post. But clear-eyed adults prefer to examine plain facts about Trump’s executive order: 1. It is NOT a “Muslim ban.” You will search the Executive Order in vain for mentions of Islam, or any other religion. By Sunday morning, the media began suffering acute attacks of honesty and writing headlines such as “Trump’s Latest Executive Order: Banning People From 7 Countries and More” (CNN) and printing the full text of the order. Granted, CNN still slips the phrase “Muslim-majority countries” into every article about the order, including the post in which they reprinted its text in full, but CNN used the word “Muslim,” not Trump. The order applies to all citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. It does not specify Muslims. The indefinite hold on Syrian refugees will affect Christians and Muslims alike. As Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner points out, the largest Muslim-majority countries in the world are not named in the Executive Order. More countries may be added to the moratorium in the days to come, as the Secretary of Homeland Security has been instructed to complete a 30-day review of nations that don’t provide adequate information for vetting visa applicants. It’s also noteworthy that the ban is not absolute. Exceptions for “foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas” are expressly made in the order. The Departments of State and Homeland Security can also grant exceptions 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.” There is a provision in the Executive Order that says applications based on religious persecution will be prioritized “provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”

..which is key, as the “minority” religion in most of these countries is Christianity; a faith that has experienced genocide in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.  To read the rest of this outstanding analysis by John Hayward, click on the text above.

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