Unless youâ€™re a native American, youâ€™re an immigrant or have an ancestor who was. This nation has long celebrated and honored those who come to join us in this democratic experiment. Part of the greatness of the country is a belief that in our freedoms lies the opportunity to live better lives, individually and collectively, than were heretofore possible under the monarchies, dictatorships, and communist societies of the world. We welcome people to the Great American Melting Pot.
That our own president would deny these opportunites to war refugees and others who have undergone extensive vetting is at best a betrayal of the foundational principles of the country. As the Cato Institute put it (when it was still believed that we were talking about a 30-day suspension of visas from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen):
Foreigners from those seven nations have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and the end of 2015. Six Iranians, six Sudanese, two Somalis, two Iraqis, and one Yemini have been convicted of attempting or carrying out terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Zero Libyans or Syrians have been convicted of planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil during that time period.
Many other foreigners have been convicted of terrorism-related offenses that did not include planning a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
The Cato story goes on to detail how Trumpâ€™s order looks to be based on false and inflated intelligence, something this administration is already awash in after only a week. Even if there were no adverse effects, this ban does nothing to make the country safer.
In fact, the reverse is true. The most obvious is that the honor and credibility of the country has been severely damaged, only somewhat mitigated by the huge outpouring of anti-ban sentiment from across both the United States and the world.
Worse is the betrayal of those who have served with our armed forces in places like Iraq. Ask the military personnel and they will tell you that it is appalling that Iraqis who have risked everything to work with our troops in Iraq should be banned from our country.
That this ban primarily impacts women and children, many of whom are fleeing war-torn countries is another aspect of its inhumanity and disgrace. These are people attempting to escape violence and persecution and begging for safe harbor along freedomâ€™s shores.
In Trumpian fashion, the Executive Order was signed without normal review and comment and with a haste that made an incredibly confusing mess for those tasked with carrying out orders which are highly likely to be found unconstitutional. That the acting Attorney General found the ban order indefensible in a legal senseâ€”a stance which both led to her firing and which annoited her with a fair amount of honor and gloryâ€”speaks to the shakey ground on which Trump is operating.
High tech companies in particular have had to scramble to get their foreign workers holding H1B1 visas home to the United States again. Google has said that more than 100 of their employees have been impacted. Apple, founded in part by the son of a Syrian immigrant, was like most tech companies instantly critical of the ban as well.
It is particularly odious that the ban targets Muslim countries and that Trump has said that that Christian immigrants will have priority in entering the country. Religious institutions ranging from the Catholic Church to the Latter-Day Saints have denounced the ban as un-Christian, which of course it is.
Finally, this combination of governmental policy and religion is, alone, a violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution Trump just days ago swore to defend. By itself, the ban is unlikely to be grounds for impeachment, but it is more than enough for us to begin a discussion of that prospect, which is one of the few good things of this whole affair.