Monday, January 30, 2017

Alexander, Corker, Steve Dickerson denounce Trump's Executive Order on immigration and refugees.

On Friday, President Trump issued an executive order temporarily suspended immigration from five of the world's 40 majority Muslim nations. Immigration from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen was suspended for 90 days.  The country's refugee resettlement program was halted for 120 days and Syrian refugees were banned from the U.S. indefinitely. The executive order also applied to green card holders and individuals who were already approved to enter the country. This led to confusion as travelers who were in transit to the U.S. were detained in airports over the weekend. Some of those who were detained at US airports included interpreters who worked with the U.S. military in Iraq and whose lives may be in danger in there own country. Five states have taken legal action against the Executive order.

Press Release, WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2017 -  U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the president’s executive order regarding refugees and immigrants:
"This vetting proposal itself needed more vetting. More scrutiny of those traveling from war-torn countries to the United States is wise. But this broad and confusing order seems to ban legal, permanent residents with ‘green cards,’ and might turn away Iraqis, for example, who were translators and helped save lives of American troops and who could be killed if they stay in Iraq. And while not explicitly a religious test, it comes close to one which is inconsistent with our American character.”

Bob Corker: Trump should 'immediately' revise immigration executive order

Washington Examiner - Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, said Sunday President Trump's executive order temporarily banning refugees and immigration should be "immediately" revised.
"We all share a desire to protect the American people, but this executive order has been poorly implemented, especially with respect to green card holders," the Republican, who was considered for secretary of state, said in a statement.
"The administration should immediately make appropriate revisions, and it is my hope that following a thorough review and implementation of security enhancements that many of these programs will be improved and reinstated," he said.(link)

My Comment: I essentially agree with the viewpoints expressed above. My greatest concern is that it went into effect requiring  those already in transit with green cards to return to their home country. Some of these were interpreters who stood along side Americans on the battlefield.  Returning them to their home country could get them killed.

This Executive Order  is hardly a Muslim band, however.  Some of the most Muslim of countries of the world are not on the list. This ban applies to only seven of the 40 Muslim majority countries in the world. Also, it is worth noting that this is not the first time the United States has done something similar. President Jimmy Carter banned immigrants from Iran in 1980. 

None of the countries that were home to the 9|-11 hijackers are on the list. Saudi Arabia nor Pakistan are on the list. Why? It is worth noting that having this policy in place would not have prevented a single terrorist attack in America.  Most American Jihadist were American citizens and most were American born and only recently radicalized. The wife of the San Bernadino couple could have been prevented from entry under this policy,  except she was not from one of the seven countries listed; She  was from Pakistan.

It must be difficult to vet refuges from a war torn country. It is not like you can interview their 8th grade school teacher or the neighbor next door.  Records are scarce.  Nevertheless, I do not think we should have an absolute ban on refugees from Muslim country.  These wretched souls are the front line victims of radical Jihad.  Since the risk from Muslim refugees has so far proven non-existent and since we should have compassion for victims of radical Islamic Jihad I do not support a permanent ban. Since we can;t take them all however, I think a priority should be given to Christians and Jews and to widowed women with minor children.

A temporary time-out may be appropriate to insure we are doing all we can to vet.  As a policy, I think it would be better if most refugees were to stay in refugee camps near their home country for now, and then be resettled back to their home country when the wars end.

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