US Bans Travelers from Certain Muslim Countries

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In summary: I think I should also mention that the order also affects green card holders and other legal residents.
  • #1

StatGuy2000

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/us/trump-refugee-ban-muslim-executive-order.html?_r=0

And some follow-up news from the Economist:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2017/01/quick-rebuke

In my personal opinion, when I had first heard during the presidential campaign, I had thought that Trump's statements on banning all Muslims from entering the US was just bluster. I was wrong (although Trump did lie when he said "all Muslims" --- he meant only "certain Muslims"), and it outrages me that even a temporary ban as described above could take place in the US.

At least the courts were able to step into reign in on the worst excesses of such executive orders.
 
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  • #2
Are you outraged that he would or outraged that he could [which is what you wrote]?

On the latter, countries have had the right for a long time to decide who enters their borders. For example, nine countries (including four of the seven on Trump's list) refuse to admit people who have Israeli stamps in their passports.

The list itself is a holdover from the Obama administration. Indeed, if you read the text of the executive order, you will not find the seven countries named. If you go further, 8 USC 1182(f) explicitly gives the President (presumably at the time Obama) the power to suspend entry for "such period as he deem(s) necessary".

There seem to be three prongs of attack on this:

1. Congress has the absolute authority to determine which foreign nationals are allowed in and who are not. but they do not have the authority to delegate it to the President.
2. Congress does not have the authority. It was removed by the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause under Plyer v. Doe, which found that non-citizens, even illegally, have the right to a free public education, same as citizens.
3. This is actually a religious ban in disguise. However, this does not ban all muslims: the 90% who live in other countries have their status unchanged. Also,it deos not only ban muslims: a zoroastrian from Iran would be barred from entry as well.
 
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  • #3
From the media to my facebook feed, people spent a lot of mental energy losing their minds over this order over the weekend. But when the dust settles and the obviously botched implementation smooths over, it isn't clear whether the basic order is legal and/or will be able to stand.

Digging through the apoplexy, CNN does have a decent article describing the entire issue here:
http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/30/politics/trump-travel-ban-q-and-a/index.html

And that links-through to a more detailed article on the question of if it is legal:
http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/politics/trump-travel-ban-legal/index.html

The problem is that the President's powers are broad when it comes to immigration enforcement and the wording of the relevant act seems self-contradictory. Clearly, Presidents can make country-specific policies and limitations (and I think even religion-specific, though this currently isn't one). Just prior to leaving office, for example, Obama issued an executive order eliminating the wet foot/dry foot policy for Cubans, which was a special priveledge afforded only to Cubans. It still isn't clear to me what legal avenues for Cubans remain, but I'm not sure there are any besides defecting as refugee.
 
  • #4
Vanadium 50 said:
Are you outraged that he would or outraged that he could [which is what you wrote]?

Both.

On the latter, countries have had the right for a long time to decide who enters their borders. For example, nine countries (including four of the seven on Trump's list) refuse to admit people who have Israeli stamps in their passports.

The list itself is a holdover from the Obama administration. Indeed, if you read the text of the executive order, you will not find the seven countries named. If you go further, 8 USC 1182(f) explicitly gives the President (presumably at the time Obama) the power to suspend entry for "such period as he deem(s) necessary".

I am not questioning whether countries have the right to decide who enters their borders. What I am questioning is what is, as I see it, a blunt and discriminatory approach to determine who can enter borders, as well as the vagueness of the order, which has caused chaos in foreign embassies and consulates, and has caused considerable hassle. Remember, it is one thing to end any future visas to people from these countries -- it is quite another to prohibit all people from these countries, including those with approved visas allowing them to come to the country, as has been reported (if people have been approved for a visa, doesn't that imply that these people were vetted to come to the US?)

There are reports of graduate students, postdocs, visiting scientists, business owners, etc. who are either prevented from entering the US (leaving family members behind), or are stuck in the US because any travel outside may mean they might be unable to return. The 90 day duration itself doesn't exactly help, since it's still an open question what the administration intends to do afterwards.

I should also add that I have long been concerned with the increase in executive power/authority that has taken place starting from the administration of George W. Bush and continuing through Obama. It's my feeling that many people (certainly those of a liberal bent) weren't particularly troubled with excessive executive authority during Obama's tenure as President because they thought of Obama as a decent man. The issue is that these powers don't end with anyone president. We're seeing the legacy of such concentration of executive power through Trump.

There seem to be three prongs of attack on this:

1. Congress has the absolute authority to determine which foreign nationals are allowed in and who are not. but they do not have the authority to delegate it to the President.
2. Congress does not have the authority. It was removed by the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause under Plyer v. Doe, which found that non-citizens, even illegally, have the right to a free public education, same as citizens.
3. This is actually a religious ban in disguise. However, this does not ban all muslims: the 90% who live in other countries have their status unchanged. Also,it does not only ban muslims: a zoroastrian from Iran would be barred from entry as well.

Prongs (1) and (2) would be interesting avenues to pursue assuming there is a constitutional challenge of the executive orders. I would not be surprised if such court cases make its way at some stage to the US Supreme Court (assuming the court would agree to hear these cases).

As for Prong (3), I agree that the intention may be to impose a religious ban of sorts. In which case the irony is how hypocritical it is, since 90% of Muslims live in other countries not affected, and the countries affected have non-Muslim minorities (e.g. Assyrian Christians in Iraq & Iran, Yazidis in Iraq, Armenians in Iran & Syria, Zoroastrians in Iran, etc.).
 
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  • #5
Vanadium 50 said:
3. This is actually a religious ban in disguise. However, this does not ban all muslims: the 90% who live in other countries have their status unchanged. Also,it does not only ban muslims: a zoroastrian from Iran would be barred from entry as well.
This one is often misunderstood, e.g. interpreted too broadly. Laws may be passed that have the effect of excluding certain religions/religious practices as long as the laws aren't religion-focused. For example, if a person's religion uses human sacrifice, they can't win a religious freedom exemption from murder laws. The murder law wasn't written with targeting their religion in mind.

On the other side of the coin, special priveledges may have the effect of favoring a religion (Christianity in this case, potentially) if they are not done for religious reasons. E.G., if a group of people is oppressed, we can decide to help them -- the fact that they are oppressed because of their religion would not tie our hands.

So there is a lot of nuance in the wording and execution of such laws, that matters a lot...not that Trump would neessarily know a Nuance if he saw one...
On the latter, countries have had the right for a long time to decide who enters their borders.
It is also worth noting that European countries are currently scrambling to create ways to keep some of these same people out; with both laws and walls (fences?). Open borders policies are great until they aren't.
 
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  • #6
russ_watters said:
Open borders policies are great until they aren't.
There is a huge difference between "not having a completely open border" and "you lived in the US for years, you have a job, a family and a house here, but you went on vacation, and now you are not allowed to go back to the US".
 
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  • #7
mfb said:
There is a huge difference between "not having a completely open border" and "you lived in the US for years, you have a job, a family and a house here, but you went on vacation, and now you are not allowed to go back to the US".
Agreed. And along those lines, I think it is important when analyzing this situation to clearly differentiate between what the policy is and what happened as part of the botched implimentation. It was botched badly enough that I'm not sure it is even clear yet, but what I have read does seem to indicate that Green Card holders are not to be denied entry as part of the policy.
 
  • #8
Vanadium 50 said:
For example, nine countries (including four of the seven on Trump's list) refuse to admit people who have Israeli stamps in their passports.
This isn't completely strict as I have experience traveling to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq while having a visa in my passport from Israel.

russ_watters said:
From the media to my facebook feed, people spent a lot of mental energy losing their minds over this order over the weekend.
Maybe they care about all the people in transit who were to put it mildly inconvenienced and how this affects families of people who work here. I was talking to an old PF mentor who works in silicon valley and he said a high level coworker from Iran now doesn't know when he/she will see her family again.
 
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  • #9
russ_watters said:
but what I have read does seem to indicate that Green Card holders are not to be denied entry as part of the policy.
I hope that turns out to be the case. But it doesn't make it Okay IMO. What about the thousands of students and people who have jobs there who would be trapped in the US without being able to see their families or outside where their lives are put on hold for 90 days?

Is any of this really necessary? Does it serve any purpose other than to appease xenophobes?
 
  • #10
HossamCFD said:
I hope that turns out to be the case. But it doesn't make it Okay IMO. What about the thousands of students and people who have jobs there who would be trapped in the US without being able to see their families or outside where their lives are put on hold for 90 days?
Agreed. I am not clear on the intent for other current visa holders, but I would think that a retro-active revocation or hold on an existing visa wouldn't be legal/Constitutional.
Is any of this really necessary? Does it serve any purpose other than to appease xenophobes?
Meh. It isn't a good/useful policy IMO. I am for improving screeings, since terrorists/attempted terrorists do slip through the cracks (despite the media's misdirected claims otherwise), but these particular countries do not constitute much of the problem and the policy is just way to blunt of an instrument for an issue where precision is required. It doesn't anger me like it does others, but I do think it is kinda dumb.
 
  • #11
Greg Bernhardt said:
Maybe they care about all the people in transit who were to put it mildly inconvenienced and how this affects families of people who work here.
Yes, maybe. And I care too, but in my opinion rational responses are more useful/instructive than irrational ones. I've seen a lot of disappointing to downright distrubing responses to this.
 
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  • #12
russ_watters said:
Yes, maybe. And I care too, but in my opinion rational responses are more useful/instructive than irrational ones. I've seen a lot of disappointing to downright distrubing responses to this.
I certainly don't support "disturbing" responses, but outside of protests and "making some noise" what "rational" options do people have to get the president's attention? We've already seen how business and protest pressure has altered his actions.
 
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  • #13
Vanadium 50 said:
3. This is actually a religious ban in disguise. However, this does not ban all muslims: the 90% who live in other countries have their status unchanged. Also,it deos not only ban muslims: a zoroastrian from Iran would be barred from entry as well.
This point overlooks the stated rationale for the particular list of countries. If you want to ban people from countries that support terrorism, then Saudi Arabia should be at or near the top of the list, BUT ... the rationale of this executive order is that the ban is for countries that (1) support/allow terrorism and (2) from which we do not and/or can not get adequate information about people from there. An administration spokesperson stated that Saudi Arabia provides us with extensive information about people who apply for US visas.

Now, whether or not that rationale is TRUE and whether or not it is EFFECTIVE, are reasonable things to discuss / argue about, but those who get apoplectic about the particular list of countries are focusing on the religious issue, not on the stated policy. I don't approve of what Trump did and I particularly don't approve of how he did it, but I think the argument should be about what he did, not a straw man.
 
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  • #14
Greg Bernhardt said:
I certainly don't support "disturbing" responses, but outside of protests and "making some noise" what "rational" options do people have to get the president's attention? We've already seen how business and protest pressure has altered his actions.
Yes, that's a good example. As is this:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/us/aclu-fund-raising-trump-travel-ban.html

I do get that anger is what drives protests and in that way it does have at least some value even when off-the-wall, but unlike most other Presidents, Trump doesn't appear to care about protests. Either way, what is actually going to get parts or all of this overturned is court challenges.
 
  • #16
Former CIA director Hayden believes it will exacerbate anti-US sentiment, ultimately causing more problems than it is alleged to solve:

http://www.mediaite.com/print/forme...utive-order-inarguably-has-made-us-less-safe/

The executive order, he said, has “inarguably has made us less safe. It has taken draconian measures against a threat that was hyped. The byproduct is it feeds the Islamic militant narrative and makes it harder for our allies to side with us.”

In other words, it fuels the radical Muslim perception that the US is anti-Muslim, and fosters their recruitment of more Muslims to radical extremism.
 
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  • #17
zoobyshoe said:
In other words, it fuels the radical Muslim perception that the US is anti-Muslim, and fosters their recruitment of more Muslims to radical extremism.
I thought the last 15 years made that causal effect obvious enough...
But Trump will take every sign of radical extremism as opportunity to continue his program.

A great vicious circle.
 
  • #18
zoobyshoe said:
In other words, it fuels the radical Muslim perception that the US is anti-Muslim, and fosters their recruitment of more Muslims to radical extremism.
Wait, what? Who would the new terrorists be? The people who are trying to immigrate or the people left behind? If this policy is all it takes to convert a peaceful immigrant into a terrorist, doesn't that just validate the necessity of the policy? And why would someone who doesn't like the USA be mad at *us* for not letting refugees come live the life of the Great Satan? Shouldn't they be mad at the refugees for trying to come here to get a piece of the Great Satan's Dream?

If that's what we're dealing with, I may need to change my position to "pro"!
 
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  • #19
Maybe we should just wait for another 9/11, then maybe the protesters will not be so concerned about the inconveniences of other people. I remember a few days after 9/11 I was scheduled to meet with someone from Pakistan at my place of employment in the US. He was of course was unable to make it because of travel restrictions. I'm sure there were many travel inconveniences at that time but I don't remember any protests.
 
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  • #20
zoobyshoe said:
In other words, it fuels the radical Muslim perception that the US is anti-Muslim, and fosters their recruitment of more Muslims to radical extremism.

I never liked this line of arguing. I can't imagine a normal non-radical person getting frustrated that his visa is suspended so he decides to blow himself up with a dozen innocent people. It's unrealistic, and frankly insulting to most people who live in Muslim countries (It's basically saying don't pi** these people off because they'll turn terrorists as result).
 
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  • #21
russ_watters said:
botched implimentation

I think it's fair to complain about a botched implementation, and even to hold Trump accountable - he is, after all, head of the executive. But this is what the lawyers call an affirmative defense: one's position has to be that if the implementation were smooth, one would then support it.

phinds said:
Saudi Arabia should be at or near the top

That's an interesting position, and I have read it in several places. There are people (not Phinds) who argued that it should have been added, and I wish I could ask them "Is your position that it should have been added in 2015? If so, why not complain then?" or "is it your position that Trump should have gone beyond the bill that Congress passed as an executive order?"

phinds said:
Saudi Arabia provides us with extensive information about people who apply for US visas.

It is perhaps worth noting that six of the seven countries on the list (all but Iran) are failed states without a fully sovereign central government. They don't provide information because they can't.

zoobyshoe said:
it fuels the radical Muslim perception that the US is anti-Muslim,

And the press aids this by calling it an "anti-Muslim ban" even though it only affects about 7% of the world muslim population.

HossamCFD said:
. It's unrealistic, and frankly insulting to most people who live in Muslim countries

One of the ugly strands of Progressivism (both times) is the "white man's burden". (It's a poem by Kipling - you should read it if you haven't)
 
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  • #22
HossamCFD said:
I never liked this line of arguing. I can't imagine a normal non-radical person getting frustrated that his visa is suspended so he decides to blow himself up with a dozen innocent people. It's unrealistic, and frankly insulting to most people who live in Muslim countries (It's basically saying don't pi** these people off because they'll turn terrorists as result).
I don't think Hayden meant that "normal" Muslims would be turned by this, and also not the people who got detained and sent back. But obviously, to the extent it lends credence to the idea the West hates Islam, it works in the terrorist's favor, no? To the extent there is any religion based fear of the West in the Middle East, this just throws gas on that fire. There's always fence-sitters who only need a slight push.
 
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  • #23
Vanadium 50 said:
It is perhaps worth noting that six of the seven countries on the list (all but Iran) are failed states without a fully sovereign central government. They don't provide information because they can't.
Exactly the point that Trump's spokesperson was making and somewhat the point of my post #13. Again, I don't support the policy as implemented but I think you and I are agreeing that most of the people arguing about it are not basing their argument on the real issue that supposedly is being addressed.
 
  • #24
Sorry if this is a repeat, but Trump ordered a MUSLIM BAN.

Trump asked for a ‘Muslim ban,’ Giuliani says — and ordered a commission to do it ‘legally’

Former New York mayor Rudy W. Giuliani said President Trump wanted a “Muslim ban” and requested he assemble a commission to show him “the right way to do it legally.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...sion-to-do-it-legally/?utm_term=.ca2be7d81cc3

This isn't about banning from a few countries, it was about Muslims from countries that Trump doesn't do business with.

President Trump's Muslim ban excludes countries linked to his sprawling business empire


http://www.nydailynews.com/news/pol...countries-linked-businesses-article-1.2957956



 
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  • #25
TurtleMeister said:
Maybe we should just wait for another 9/11, then maybe the protesters will not be so concerned about the inconveniences of other people.
So you think we've just been lucky? Obviously our vetting was working since we haven't seen anything remotely close to 9/11. So why run this ban on a few Muslim countries now? It's pretty obvious logic is not involved.
 
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  • #26
russ_watters said:
It was botched badly enough that I'm not sure it is even clear yet, but what I have read does seem to indicate that Green Card holders are not to be denied entry as part of the policy.
Apparently, this weekend, the ban was applied to folks from those countries with Green Cards, because it wasn't clear to some.

What Al-khersan said they encountered was about four hours of confusion and aggressive questioning from federal agents who stopped them and told them to exit their car, leaving the keys in it. At one point, Al-khersan said the agents banned them from re-entering the U.S. and told them to stay overnight in Canada and try again in the morning. But Al-khersan said she asserted her rights to reenter and agents then let them come back in at 3:30 a.m.
http://www.freep.com/story/news/loc...ichigan-students-immigration-status/97183426/
Fortunately, they were allowed to return home after asserting their rights.
It's unclear how widespread the problem is in metro Detroit: A Detroit Metro Airport official referred calls on whether there were any detentions of passengers arriving Saturday to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which did not return a call and e-mail. The Transportation Security Administration referred all questions to other federal departments including the Department of Homeland Security. A spokeswoman for DHS said Saturday the agency would comment later.
 
  • #28
Evo said:
This isn't about banning from a few countries, it was about Muslims from countries that Trump doesn't do business with.
Even if this limited ban was legal, it is terribly inconsistent.

The Atlantic has a good piece on the subject of the ban.
https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/01/trump-immigration-order-muslims/514844/
Who is affected?

For 120 days, the order bars the entry of any refugee who is awaiting resettlement in the U.S. It also prohibits all Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. until further notice. Additionally, it bans the citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries—Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen—from entering the U.S. on any visa category.*

On Saturday this included individuals who are permanent residents of the U.S. (green-card holders) who were traveling overseas to visit family or for work—though a senior administration official said their applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis. The official also said green-card holders from those countries who are in the U.S. will have to meet with a consular officer before leaving the U.S.

News reports suggested the White House overruled the Department of Homeland Security’s recommendations on excluding green-card holders from the executive orders. Preibus, on Meet the Press, denied that, then appeared to suggest that the order won’t affect permanent residents going forward, but when pressed appeared to contradict himself.
It was definitely a botched effort.
On Sunday evening, John Kelly, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, offered more definitive guidance. “In applying the provisions of the president’s executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest,” he said in a statement. “Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.”
Kelly's statement - https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29...ntry-lawful-permanent-residents-united-states

CNN published the text of the OE
http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/text-of-trump-executive-order-nation-ban-refugees/index.html

Trump invoked the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, . . . .
 
  • #29
zoobyshoe said:
But obviously, to the extent it lends credence to the idea the West hates Islam, it works in the terrorist's favor, no? To the extent there is any religion based fear of the West in the Middle East, this just throws gas on that fire. There's always fence-sitters who only need a slight push.
This. In order to understand why it helps the recruitment one must first understand how the recruitment works. The rhetoric of the recruitment is to a large extent based on polarisation - just as Trump's rhetoric. It is a very powerful rhetoric (after all, Trump won the election) and this ban gives credence to it. The image of a person sitting by himself taking the decision to "blow himself up" is rather naive. It is not how recruitment works. Recruitment works by reaching out to people who are on the edge and supplying them with us-against-them arguments. Trump is making this type of arguments easy - they do not even have to lie since he is saying it loud and clear. The solution to stop recruiting is not to "bomb them to the stone age", it is analysing the motives and supplying an alternative.

HossamCFD said:
I never liked this line of arguing. I can't imagine a normal non-radical person getting frustrated that his visa is suspended so he decides to blow himself up with a dozen innocent people. It's unrealistic, and frankly insulting to most people who live in Muslim countries (It's basically saying don't pi** these people off because they'll turn terrorists as result).
I cannot imagine a normal non-radical person blowing themselves up period. Yet it happens (not only in arab countries - all over the world). The question is what line of argument extremist organisations use to recruit. People are not placed in simple categories - you have an entire distribution all over the range of possible opinions. The point is that it is the tails of the distribution that are important for recruitment of extremists (by definition) and you therefore cannot look at what happens to the main bulk.
Evo said:
This isn't about banning from a few countries, it was about Muslims from countries that Trump doesn't do business with.
Is anyone surprised over this? It was quite clear to me long before the election that Trump does not understand the point of having an unbiased president or that he is not allowed to take decisions intended to benefit his own bussiness empire.
 
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  • #30
There's more than one "follow the money" aspect to immigration. Some tech companies are outraged that they may need to hire more American workers, instead of relying on outsourcing firms. Perhaps it's much more a financial issue for these tech companies than a humanitarian issue. Perhaps their real concern is to head off the move towards more restrictions on H1-B visas. I think that concerns them much more than what happens to refugees. I apologize in advance if I am being unfair.
 
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  • #31
David Reeves said:
There's more than one "follow the money" aspect to immigration. Some tech companies are outraged that they may need to hire more American workers, instead of relying on outsourcing firms. Perhaps it's much more a financial issue for these tech companies than a humanitarian issue. Perhaps their real concern is to head off the move towards more restrictions on H1-B visas. I think that concerns them much more than what happens to refugees. I apologize in advance if I am being unfair.

Well, even if that is true (which it probably is, at least to some extent), tech companies are companies - too a large extent they are expected to act in the best interest of their stake holders. (Of course this is very generalising, the moral and ethical policies of companies will differ almost as much as those of individuals.) In contrast to this, Trump is the president of the United States, elected by the people in order to serve their best interests - not his own.

In other words - it is not strange for a company to act for private gain, but the president is not supposed to do that.
 
  • #32
Orodruin said:
Yet it happens (not only in arab countries - all over the world). The question is what line of argument extremist organisations use to recruit. People are not placed in simple categories - you have an entire distribution all over the range of possible opinions. The point is that it is the tails of the distribution that are important for recruitment of extremists (by definition) and you therefore cannot look at what happens to the main bulk.

zoobyshoe said:
I don't think Hayden meant that "normal" Muslims would be turned by this, and also not the people who got detained and sent back. But obviously, to the extent it lends credence to the idea the West hates Islam, it works in the terrorist's favor, no? To the extent there is any religion based fear of the West in the Middle East, this just throws gas on that fire. There's always fence-sitters who only need a slight push.

Does the policy paint a bad picture of the US (not just in ME but all over)? I think it does. I'd be furious if I were an American and that was done in my name. Is it significant to fence-sitters/tail of the distribution? It might be for some, but then again a lot of things are. A random encounter with an internet bigot or a random guy deciding to burn the Quran on youtube might provide enough of a trigger for such a person. Radicalisation is complex and has many roots and I don't pretend to understand it well, nor do I have any training on the subject. But I have met my fair share of people who were utterly convinced that the US/west are at war with Islam. Their go-to points are always to do with American foreign policy AND their religious world view: War on Iraq (never gets old), drone strikes, support for Israel, supporting Arabic secular dictators. It's almost always to do with their perception of how America is 'screwing' with what they regard as 'the Muslim nation'. Could this policy contribute in some way? Perhaps. But that's tenuous at best IMO. And this argument *does* a lot of harm IMO. To an American audience, I don't imagine many will be convinced that they shouldn't have certain controls over their borders because it might turn a few more terrorists against them. I mean it almost sounds like an argument for the policy not against it. But it also does more harm in that it perpetuates the 'savage middle easterner who's always close to be radicalised' stereotype, and frankly there's enough of that already going on.

My point is, this is an ugly policy and it makes Muslims (and people who aren't Muslims but look like one, just like myself) more of a fair game. It needs to be opposed for the right reason; the fact that thousands of law abiding visitors and near citizens having their lives disrupted unnecessarily because of it. 'Don't anger the extremists because they might recruit easier/come for us' is almost never a good argument to oppose any policy IMO.
 
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  • #33
HossamCFD said:
Does the policy paint a bad picture of the US (not just in ME but all over)?
Of course it does. In Europe, the only ones I have seen applauding it are right-wing extremists.

HossamCFD said:
'Don't anger the extremists because they might recruit easier/come for us' is almost never a good argument to oppose any policy IMO.
I do not think this is the main argument. However, disregarding everything else, the question is if the policy is effective in its stated purpose and it is then that you might look at these things and conclude that it probably does not even do that.
 
  • #34
I recall during Obama's 2nd term as Executive Orders began flying, liberal friends were celebrating. The general tenor was "It's so great he's getting around the GOP majorities in Congress!" As a strong believer in the diffusion of political power, I would always ask "would you be comfortable with Donald Trump wielding the kind of power Obama seems to be using?"

The powers of the office don't change just because the person behind the desk does. I voted for Obama in 2008 but opposed him in 2012 because I believe very strongly in our system of checks and balances and I believed he was going to take executive power too far, and I think it's safe to say I was right with his "pen and phone" policies. The weird part was I actually agreed with the bulk of the policies, I just strongly disagreed with the way he carried them out. The same Democrats that cheered Obama circumventing Congress are now condemning Trump for doing the exact same thing. Situational ethics are becoming far too common in this country.

Example 1: After the election, Barbara Boxer wanted to introduce a bill to abolish the Electoral College (as did many Democrats). Would they have introduced the same bill if Clinton won the Electoral vote but Trump the popular vote? Of course not. They don't believe in the bill, just the current political situation.
Example 2: The ACA was passed without a single GOP vote. Now that the GOP is back in power, they will likely repeal it because they have no stake in it. I hope and pray that whatever replaces the ACA will be a bipartisan effort. If the GOP simply rams through a purely conservative law without liberal input, the Democrats will simply repeal it next time they're in power, and the American people should not have to keep bouncing back and forth between health plans.

TL;DR: When observing a President you support carrying out an executive action, ask yourself "Would I be comfortable with someone from the other side having this power?" If not, principle dictates you oppose the order itself even if you agree with the content.
 
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  • #35
Greg Bernhardt said:
So you think we've just been lucky? Obviously our vetting was working since we haven't seen anything remotely close to 9/11.
I think we've been good at vetting/investigating and lucky. But one or the other appears running thinner in the past few years, as the San Bernardino and Orlando shootings, among others, indicate. 2015 and 2016 were each the worst years since 2001 for terrorism in the US.

And also @Orodruin, the years during the most active parts of the Iraq and Afghan wars were among the lowest in terms of terrorism that we've seen domestically since 2001. The only years since 9/11 without a terror attack on US soil were 2004, 2005 and 2011:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_the_United_States#2010.E2.80.93present
 
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