Tag Archives: HR 158

Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban – Update

In my opinion, the best lie is the one that is just a little bit tainted with truth. Those lies are the best lies. About two weeks ago, President Donald Trump (yeah, it still does not sound right) signed an executive order which asked for increased scrutiny of persons wanting to immigrate to this country from several lands. I say several lands because if you actually read his executive order, first of all it is kind of a headache because it is long and nonspecific. The order does not actually say Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. So, let us actually read what the order says I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).

Now, this whole thing gets complicated. It appears that President Trump’s executive order refers to the “Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015.” This was a bill that was tacked onto the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. So, it is kinda hard to say that this was a Obama administration initiative. The bill was actually written by former Congresswoman Candice Miller, Republican. To make matters even more confusing, this bill, HR 158, simply canceled the Visa Waiver Program. So, essentially, what this did was force travelers from Syria and Iraq to get visas the old-fashioned way through interviews at the American consulate. So, President Obama had the choice of signing this huge omnibus spending bill into law which would allow the government to continue to operate or to veto it because of this bill which was tacked on by Congresswoman Miller. You tell me, does this sound like an Obama program?

So, because this is an confusing enough, Donald Trump said, “My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.” Um, this is not exactly true either. So, in response to the May 2011 arrest of two Iraqi refugees on terrorism charges in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Obama administration decided that immigrants from Iraq deserved increased scrutiny. This was not a ban. It was increased scrutiny. So, on one hand, Donald Trump was right President Obama did do something in 2011 and his policy was relatively similar… Kind of but not really.

This is not the kind of thing you should NOT be arguing over at the water cooler. It just is not worth it. There are tons of details and for the most part, when you are arguing over water cooler nobody knows the details. The reason I bring this up was because I heard the argument in the emergency room. Two doctors were going at it. One was accusing the other of hypocrisy because “Obama did the same thing.” No, Obama did not. Go back and read. While it is important to engage our fellow Americans. It is not important to discuss the details of a ban that is a ban verses Obama’s ban that was not a ban. Got it.

Finally, I think that the President has the power to control who is coming into this country. I think that’s in the Constitution. I don’t think that we can argue that. Instead the argument is what kind of convoluted nonsense did Trump put in his executive order.  Oops. I just got an email from my (our) constitutional scholar Linda Monk. I was wrong!!! Article I gives the power of immigration to Congress and NOT the president.  Article I, Section 8 – The Congress shall have Power to establish as uniform Rule of Naturalization. There it is in black and white.  Article II deals with the President. It says in Section 2 – The President shall be Commander in Chief of the  Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States. The president’s powers with regard to immigration are implied. So, Congress needs to pass a law restricting immigration from those 7 countries. That would be lawful!