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Immigration and double standards.

March 16, 2017

Most people think that the President’s travel ban is one of two things.

Predictably divided by political ideology, liberal progressives see it as a racist Islamophobic attempt to hurt members of the Islamic faith, while Trump’s base see it as a legitimate tool to improve the safety and security of Americans in their own homeland.

Among those that are in favor of the ban, at least in principle, a sub-group thinks that the time frame is too short to accomplish the task of “studying ways to provide better vetting.” In addition many believe that since it was stopped the first time, any people intending us harm are already in the pipeline.

So why not just drop it, since it has been put on hold again?

Because the underlying principle, i.e. whether the President of the United States is allowed to make decisions on how to protect us and implement them by controlling immigration is important  enough to deserve a SCOTUS ruling.

One of the things that was fairly clear almost from the beginning of the Obama administration was a decided bias against what might be politely called the stereotypical American profile.

Even so, when President Obama put travel restrictions in place in 2011, there was none of the hue and cry you hear today.

Mr. Obama’s supporters adamantly maintain it wasn’t the same thing, because the Obama immigration restriction was in response to a specific threat, covered just one country (Iraq) and it wasn’t a total ban, but just a slowdown in processing. In fact, it was a 180-day slowdown.

Whatever it was, it didn’t engender the corrosive propaganda war that exists today.

Like the 2011 order, President Trump is not seeking to ban all Muslims from entering the country. Even his original order was restricted to those countries that do not have systems in place to allow for proper vetting of anyone, not just Muslims.

Given that many Federal agencies, even during Obama’s term in office, acknowledged that there are between 300 and 1,000 known terrorists operating within the United States, there does seem to be a clear and present danger, thus justifying the national security argument.

But there is more to this than just the executive order in question.

Whatever you think of President Trump personally, many of the accepted conventions of politics that he challenges go directly to our underlying national identity.

The right of this or any other president to control foreign policy to preserve national security is one of those issues.

Another issue is whether a judge at any level has to adjudicate based on the facts of the case at hand, or whether they can interject their personal convictions.

Every adverse decision so far has hinged on what Private Citizen Trump said while campaigning, with the judges in question relying on his campaign rhetoric to prove that there is malicious intent inherent in the executive order.

By that standard, there are a whole lot of people who could file a Federal suit against the Clinton campaign and its hangers-on for an ongoing pattern of discrimination, based on racially motivated hate speech. All they would need then is a very conservative judge.

That’s not the way our judicial system is supposed to work.

In and of itself, it probably isn’t worth spending taxpayer dollars to enforce an executive order that at best would have only a temporary and transitory effect.

However, if we believe that private citizens have the right to express opinions or that the three branches of government have certain powers unique to their specific place in our Constitution, then it is important for President Trump to advocate for his and every other president’s right to govern under that document.

From → op-ed

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