Sunday, January 29, 2017

What Trump's executive order on refugees actually does

The National Review's David French offers an excellent, detailed explanation of what President Trump's executive order on immigration does and doesn't do. It's a refreshing dose of context that's been conspicuously absent in much of the coverage of the order this weekend.

French -- who was such a never-Trumper last year that he considered running for president himself -- observes:
So, what did Trump do? Did he implement his promised Muslim ban? No, far from it. He backed down dramatically from his campaign promises and instead signed an executive order dominated mainly by moderate refugee restrictions and temporary provisions aimed directly at limiting immigration from jihadist conflict zones.
As French notes, the order essentially does four things:
-- temporarily halts refugee admissions for 120 days to improve the vetting process, then caps refugee admissions at 50,000 per year.
-- imposes a temporary, 90-day ban on people entering the U.S. from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
-- puts an indefinite hold on admission of Syrian refugees to the United States “until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.”
-- prioritizes "refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”

The author explains that the temporary seven-nation ban contains an "important" exception: “Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”

The one problem he has with the order is that it is reportedly being applied even to green-card holders.
This is madness. The plain language of the order doesn’t apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., and green-card holders have been through round after round of vetting and security checks. The administration should intervene, immediately, to stop misapplication. If, however, the Trump administration continues to apply the order to legal permanent residents, it should indeed be condemned.
All in all, though, French concludes:
Trump’s order was not signed in a vacuum. Look at the Heritage Foundation’s interactive timeline of Islamist terror plots since 9/11. Note the dramatic increase in planned and executed attacks since 2015. Now is not the time for complacency. Now is the time to take a fresh look at our border-control and immigration policies. Trump’s order isn’t a betrayal of American values. Applied correctly and competently, it can represent a promising fresh start and a prelude to new policies that protect our nation while still maintaining American compassion and preserving American friendships.
The entire article is well worth the read. It's full of "wow"-inspiring statistics and is backed up by lots of research. It can really be considered a definitive guide to the truth about the order. And we keep hearing that "truth" is what we're after, right?

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