Trump’s Ludicrous, Ineffective Immigration Ban

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​Just over a week into the Trump presidency, the administration is showing no sign of slowing down. On Friday, President Trump signed an unprecedented executive order banning immigration from seven majority Muslim nations (Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) for 90 days and barring refugee immigration to the United States for 120 days with Syrian refugees banned indefinitely.
​The administration’s rationale for this ban is that Islamic terrorists will no longer have easy access to entry into the country. However, as has been widely pointed out, the immigration ban on the seven predominantly Muslim nations does not include a single country from which the 9/11 hijackers came. This ban is also extremely dangerous for national security, as was pointed out by General Michael Hayden on NPR yesterday morning. Hayden, former director of the CIA, National Security Agency, and deputy director of national intelligence, said that the ban “has probably made us less safe today than we were Friday morning before this happened” due to the fact that this executive order plays right into the “worst jihadist narrative possible, that there is undying enmity between Islam and the West.”
​Hayden went on to say that “Muslims out there who were not part of the jihadist movement are now being shown that the story they’re being told by the jihadists – they hate us; they’re our enemy – that’s being acted out by the American government.”
​So, does this immigration ban achieve its goal to make America safe again? No. This is a direct result of the new administration’s utter lack of care for precedent. The idea that national security decisions are made by the president after close consultation with experts who are solely focused on intelligence and security has been abandoned. This executive order, according to the New York Times, was drafted in large part by the newest member of the National Security Council, Steve Bannon. Bannon is a political advisor to the president and should be nowhere close to national security decisions and policy. President Bush’s senior political advisor, Karl Rove, was intentionally absent from NSC meetings due to the idea that political strategy and national security policy should never overlap. Steve Bannon will now be attending all NSC meetings while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of National Intelligence will no longer have a permanent seat. A former editor of a right-wing website replacing high level intelligence officials in NSC meetings has signaled a shift in priorities in the White House: ideology now trumps intelligence.
​The ban is not only ludicrous and ineffective, it is also simply appalling on a humanitarian level and the exact opposite of the American values emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had an emotional response to the immigration ban, tearing up as he vowed to fight against the order. Trump’s response was an accusation that Schumer was implementing “fake tears” to score political points.
​Trump obviously has no connection whatsoever to the effect that this ban has on people newly entering this country, and even legal residents of this country, who were detained over the weekend. Somehow Trump could not imagine why Schumer, a man whose grandmother and other relatives perished in the holocaust, would tear up when refugees fleeing violence and persecution are told that they are no longer welcome in the United States. Even international students at Shepherd, WVU and elsewhere (as reported by The Picket) are being notified by their respective universities that they should exercise extreme caution if traveling outside the country because there is a serious danger that they may not be allowed back in.
​Thankfully, many are organizing in opposition to these actions though protests at numerous airports across the country. When Trump was elected, I told my former high school English teacher that perhaps my generation would be motivated to organize in the spirit of the mass protests of the 1960s and 70s now that we had our Nixon. Yesterday, Trump fired the acting attorney general for refusing to carry out the immigration ban executive order. The last president to fire an attorney general was Richard Nixon in 1973.