Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from visiting or immigrating to the United States of America. The full text of the order, which does not yet have an EO number assigned to it, can be seen here.

Having been a proponent of executive orders for a long time, I’m not really opposed to this policy because it’s executive overreach. I’m opposed to it because it’s a stupid idea that lacks nuance and is more trouble than it’s worth.

  • This morning, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Iraqi nationals detained at JFK International Airport in accordance with the ban. One, an interpreter who had been attached to the 101st Air Assault Division during the Iraq War, was released this afternoon, but another is still being held. There are reports of others being held at airports across the Eastern seaboard. Most of the detainees (if not all) are in possession of valid visas, but if the Trump administration enforces the ban, they will be put back on planes to go back to their original nations.
  • Iran was included in this travel ban, which is a little strange because you don’t really see a lot of terrorists flying commercial from Tehran to Zurich to JFK. I personally know Iranian nationals and the relatives of Iranian nationals who are unjustly affected by this ban. Iran isn’t exactly what the United States would call a “good guy nation” considering that they fund Hezbollah, but that’s a comment more on the government than it is about the people living there. Its inclusion in the ban is unnecessary and splits American families apart. Great job.
    • Iran has now retaliated by officially barring all U.S. nationals from entering the country. At a time when we could use more goodwill (or, at the very least, less open hostility) towards the nation of Iran, this is definitely not helping.
      • I don’t even mean “let’s be friends with the Ayatollah,” I just mean “let’s not do this sort of political posturing to piss them off because it won’t get anywhere.”
  • The United States Refugee Admissions Program has been suspended for the next 119 days (going up to 27 May 2017). They’re not “looking closer at applicants to make sure they don’t have any jihadist ties,” they’re just suspending the whole thing.
  • Speaking solely in practical terms, I don’t think ISIS is really wringing their hands here, considering that its preferred mode of terrorist attack is to radicalize people who are already living in the United States and tell them to shoot a place up or ram their truck into a crowd.
  • This is crappy diplomacy and the world knows it. We’re not just risking pissing off the governments of the seven affected nations, but any number of other governments which are home to Iraqis, Iranians, and such. Also, considering that we’re trying to build up positive relations with the new Libyan and Iraqi governments, this isn’t helping. How can we expect to get cooperation from their Military Intelligence forces if we’ve locked out >99.9% of their population?
  • Any green-card-holder/visa-holder from one of those seven nations is effectively forbidden from leaving the United States, unless they’re ready to either go through a lengthy debacle in an immigration court or say goodbye to all of their stuff here.
    • The United States government is opening up a program to handle situations like this on a case-by-case basis, so people with existing visas or green cards can still get back in, but the process isn’t easy. If you need an example, scroll up to the part about the Iraqis spending the better part of a day locked up in an airport detention cell.
  • To the Republican Party: y’all just opened yourself up to a world of criticism and vitriol. This travel ban is likely to bolster support from Americans who are concerned about terrorists entering the country, but it’s also pissing off a bunch of Americans who have family members in those seven nations. One of the easiest ways to get people to the voting booths is to get them pissed off, and that’s what the President has just done.

Anyways, I guess I don’t really like the travel ban. I have more thoughts about this, but at ~830 words I think I’ve overstayed my welcome in an article labeled “Brief Thoughts.” In summation, it lacks nuance and I don’t think it’s worth the trouble that it’s caused/will cause in the future.


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