Trump’s Executive Order (XO) on Immigration continues to raise questions not only about the XO’s legality, but also about Trump’s motivation and his mental state.
Should the XO be characterized as a “ban”? Yes. Trump called it that. His press secretary called it a ban. Both later tried to retract their words. Sounds a lot like the job Winston Smith had in Orwell’s “1984”—rewriting history.
Is the XO a ban on Muslims? On the surface, no. It does not ban Muslims from Saudi Arabia, for example, even though Saudi citizens were the hijackers of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Further, a declassified US intelligence report (“The 28 pages”) claims at the Saudi government and citizens funded Muslim radicalism in mosques in the US around the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
And do not forget that during Trump’s primary campaign he called for a Muslim ban.
Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News on January 28 that Trump had called the XO a “Muslim ban.” Giuliani noted that a ban based on religion could be attacked, and claimed the XO did not have a religious basis, but was “based on places where there are [sic] substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.” That statement and Trump’s belief that the banned countries are significant sources of terrorists, are patently and demonstrably false. Not a single American was killed on US soil by citizens of any of the banned countries between 1975 and 2015.
Trump seems to believe two contradictory realities. In one reality, he has kept a campaign promise to ban all Muslims from this country. In another reality, he has not banned Muslims. This sounds much like the thinking of a schizophrenic.
Trump also characterizes the XO as being necessary for national security. Many sources have pointed out that few Americans have been killed by people from the predominately Muslim banned countries, while thousands of Americans have been killed by terrorists from not-banned predominately Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia. The gross illogic of the order creates more concern about the state of Trump’s mind.
On the other hand, perhaps he is clever. Trump has business interests in several of the not-banned Muslim countries, but not in the banned Muslim countries. Trump has multi-million dollar licensing and development deals in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt—countries whose citizens have killed nearly 3,000 Americans, countries whose citizens are not banned by the XO.
The New York Times characterized the XO as a bigoted, cowardly, self-defeating, and dangerous Muslim ban. Their Op-Ed page on January 27 offered an article showing that the ban on immigration is illegal. In a news analysis, the Times affirmed that the immigration ban is unlikely to reduce any terrorist threat.
Other sources took a harder stand, suggesting that the broad reach of the XO affirmed in the minds of Isis/Daesh and others of that ilk that the US is at war with Islam rather than targeting terrorists, and that the XO would encourage terrorist attacks on US soil as well as against US interests world-wide.
Many sources point to the illegality of the XO, including:
—It excludes Muslims while allowing officials to admit persons of other faiths.
—It excludes people based on their national origin, a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which banned discrimination against immigrants on the basis of their national origin.
—It favors countries in which Trump and his family have business interests.
—The “extreme vetting,” which is how Trump and his camarilla are attempting to re-brand the XO, may deny due process.
If it looks, walks, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration may not be a Muslim ban, but it is illegally discriminatory toward Muslims from countries where Trump does not have business interests.
Trump fired Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general for her courage in refusing to enforce what she saw as an illegal order. Who is next, and what will be Trump’s next debacle—or disaster?
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.