Breaking Down the Arguments of the Executive Order on Immigration.

I felt like my last post seemed heavy with information on the executive order on immigration, so I wanted to take the time to explain the arguments of those who support the executive order and those who don’t.

So during the campaign one of President Trump’s campaign promises was a ban on Muslim travelers (the full statement can be read on his website).

On Friday President Trump fulfilled his campaign promise by banning citizens, from seven Middle Eastern countries, from entering the US. The ban affected citizens of those countries who would be banned for the next 90 days, and has suspended the vetting of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

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Donald Trump supporters at a campaign event on November 4, 2016.  Credit: Reuters

The logic and arguments for the ban, which has been supported by most conservative leaders, have always been to put the safety of Americans first. But why is it now happening in 2017?

Many conservative leaders came out to support and defend the order. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News on Saturday night, to further explain Trump’s executive order. Giuliani, who’s been a Trump supporter since the beginning of Trump’s campaign, said this, “So when he first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban’. He called me up he said, ‘Put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally.'” Giuliani explained that he assembled a “whole group of other very expert lawyers” and focused on the danger of the countries, rather than religion. “Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion. It’s based on places where there is substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.”

Those who voted for Trump in November have sided with the new executive order. Newsweek spoke to Tino Altavilla, a Trump supporter who said, “Our first priority should be the safety of Americans,”. Altavilla, who is a college student at King’s College in Pennsylvania, doesn’t believe that all Muslims are terrorist but does think the vetting system should be improved before the US lets any more citizens from Middle Eastern countries in.

I can understand this argument. You want to make sure the vetting system is secure, and you want to keep Americans safe from terrorist. But one of the problems that I have with this executive order is that it comes at a time where there hasn’t been a crisis in which a ban is necessary. It would be more understandable in a case like 9/11. But terrorism that has taken place within the US, since 9/11, has been from native-born Americans, not foreign terrorists.

Donald Trump signing an executive order. Credits: Jonathan Ernest/Reuters

CNN wrote an article on Sunday arguing that the executive order is no way to protect American national security. CNN’s national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem, wrote, “Even assuming that the executive order is justified and sound, the implementation of the policy itself has sowed confusion, different interpretations, and lack of consistency. This is no way to run national security strategy.”

She also goes on by writing, “By all accounts, the entire plan was contrived and written in the White House without inter-agency or legal review. As of writing, no formal border guidance has been issued to line personnel or the airports. The language of the executive order was not vetted or reviewed properly through the agencies who are now forced to figure out what it actually means.”

Kayyem also makes a valid point that the Trump team has placed a confusing and indirect order on airport officials who then have to interpret the order. “The lack of clarity for hundreds of thousands of people means that the pressure to implement a confusing directive is falling on agents on the ground – border and customs agents – who should not be in that position.” She also points out that there’s a reason why there’s a system of inter-agency reviews in place, so chaos like what’s happened the past weekend doesn’t happen.


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