Tag: Muslim ban

Catch Your Airplane

Report: Customs and Border Protection tells airlines ‘back to business as usual’” by Cyra Master in The Hill

Pat on the back, all. Which doesn’t mean we can relax now (I say while sipping tea, semi-reclined in front of a sunny window, watching cartoons), but that we should now become giddy with power and protest protest protest because we are the champions.

(Give “We Are the Champions” another listen to rev yourself up, if you haven’t already. You know Freddie, a gay man of Zoroastrian descent, born in what’s now Tanzania, who had a pre-existing medical condition toward the end of his life, would be out at the front of the crowd if he could.)

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Executive Order on Immigration

The actual EO, sparingly annotated to provide context — journalists tell you the existing situation the order would change; how the order is being interpreted by those carrying it out; and the things that aren’t actually nailed down in the document:

“Trump’s Executive Order, Annotated” at NPR

Already Extreme Vetting

Most likely, over the next few days, we’ll hear a bunch of people try to stake out a middle ground that says, “the executive order goes too far, but it’s sensible to do more scrupulous vetting of refugees.” Sounds reasonable! But it doesn’t bear up under scrutiny.

Does anybody honestly believe we’re not already using all the available information to investigate refugees before we allow them to immigrate? Do you imagine that when we search for a criminal history, we choose not to check some of the available databases? That doesn’t sound like us. We are actively looking for reasons to reject applications, not the other way around.

Will a few refugees commit crimes if we let in a lot of refugees? Sure. Doesn’t mean our application process isn’t the best we can make it. Think about ivy league college applications, and how competitive the application process is for that handful of coveted spots – and how despite this, not everyone graduates, and oh yeah there are some rapes on campus. Think about the hiring process at Fortune 500 companies with vast HR and audit departments, and how embezzling still manages to occur. (Refugee screening is, of course, more rigorous than either of those nerve-wracking, drawn-out, paperwork-heavy audition processes.)

I’m not convinced it’s genuinely possible to do “extreme vetting.” Even with a wealth of data, you can’t tell for sure what someone’s going to do 10 years out – not even you. We all already know this, in our hearts of hearts.

If someone demands perfection, where perfect means “able to predict the future with complete accuracy,” it’s not a serious negotiating position. All you can really say is “let’s let x-number of people in, and make sure ICE agents have enough funding to do their work as sorters.” Anybody who doesn’t name a number is weasling around.

My Money’s On Stupid

Trump’s immigration fiasco might be more premeditated than we think” by Kevin Drum at Mother Jones

I think this is an interesting take, but I don’t necessarily co-sign it, for a little reason I like to call recent Gallup polls Bannon has to be aware of. This administration doesn’t seem to care much about doing things people like, and has opted pretty consistently to take the OPPOSITE of a hearts-and-minds approach, so I’m not sure why this one thing would be different.

Frankly, I find it difficult to imagine anyone could do something like this as a “play” rather than an expression of sincerely held belief and conviction. They might think more people agree with them, butt I don’t believe, and have never believed, that they were race-baiting yet not themselves furiously racist. That doesn’t fit with my definitions of “not racist.”

But, you know, just in case: keep an eye on this.

Surprise Travel Ban Takes Chaotic Effect

The below was posted by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee on the 25th; since then, the executive order has gone into effect, and visa holders from these countries have been denied entry into the US. To be super clear, “visa” includes green card; this ban affects not only new immigrants (and tourists!), but legal permanent residents and the spouses of Americans.

Here is what we know so far about the pending actions. Please note that this may change:

1. The Executive Order signed by Donald Trump will list 6 (predominantly Muslim) countries where travel/immigration to the US will be banned. There will be an option to add more at a later date. Similar to NSEERS. These countries are:

– Syria
– Yemen
– Somalia
– Sudan
– Iraq
– Iran

2. It is advised that students from the listed countries not leave the US. They won’t be permitted back in. Do not overstay your visa – if you have to leave, please do so. If you are uncertain please seek the advice of an immigration attorney.

3. We do not know what happens to visa holders from those countries who are currently in the US.

4. People from listed countries who have visas, but haven’t traveled to the US, won’t be allowed in. Their visa is void.

5. The ban may extend to spouses of US citizens who are from one of the listed countries, and have pending applications to US.

6. The EO will call for what’s known as a “values test.” This is an ideology test. Will ask applicants about religious beliefs.

7. The EO coming after the ban will focus on the wall, and increasing deportations.

The ADC Legal Department offers pro bono legal services, legal@adc.org.

This is incredibly personal for me. Two of the important mentors in my life are a Libyan-born American (who fled Libya in the 1970s, when Gaddafi took over) and an Iranian-born American (who fled Iran in the 1980s, when Ayatollah Khomeni took over). It’s my experience that Muslims who come to the United States do it because they believe in the values of the United States. If they wanted to live under state-enforced Sharia law, they’d hang out in a country with state-enforced Sharia law. It’d be way easier and cheaper. To put it another way, if I wanted to get Texas barbecue, I wouldn’t fly to Sweden.

This is the ADC’s latest press release on their website. Help if you can. This is shameful and cruel beyond words.

Also, and this should probably already be obvious – a ban based on country of origin is illegal under US law. Specifically, the 1965 immigration act, which abolished national quotas. This has been reaffirmed by the courts multiple times. I have a dream that Lyndon Johnson will literally rise from the grave to drag Trump into the street with skeletal hands, attended by the baying of spectral beagles.