(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

by Lil Tuttle

The president's Friday evening Executive Order for a 90-day pause on visas for 7 nations in the world generated swift progressive meltdown. Social justice warriors flocked to airports in protest. Black Lives Matter clashed with police at the Charlotte NC airport. ACLU lawyers mobilized its fundraising machine and "broke its fundraising record," collecting $24 million online. Celebrities, dubbing it a "Muslim ban," put their acting talents on full display. And an Obama-appointed federal judge issued a stay for "refugees and immigrants trapped at American airports," but her order "does not let them in the U.S. nor does it impact Trump's immigration ban going forward."

Did the media or progressives bother to read and think critically about the EO? Clearly not. But others did.

What the Executive Order is … and is not

Under the headline "Stunning Media Malpractice On Trump Suspension of Entry," Thomas Lifson writes, "The "latent fingerprints of Democrat icons, especially ex-president Obama, are discoverable all over President Trump's executive order of the 27th titled, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States."

John Hayward's "Seven Inconvenient Facts About Trump's Refugee Actions," which was briefly posted at RealClearPolitics on Sunday, is a thoughtful review of what the EO is … and isn't. Here are the highlights:

  1. It is NOT a "Muslim ban." You will search the Executive Order in vain for mentions of Islam, or any other religion.
  2. The order is based on security reviews conducted by President Barack Obama's deputies. The 7 nations named in Trump's executive order are drawn from the Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015. [The Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 was signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015].
  3. The moratorium is largely temporary. Citizens of the seven countries named as security risks are banned from entering the United States for the next 90 days. Refugee processing is halted for 120 days. It will last '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," as President Trump wrote.
  4. Obama banned immigration from Iraq, and Carter banned it from Iran. None of the people melting down today uttered a peep of protest [during those bans].
  5. Trump's refugee caps are comparable to Obama's pre-2016 practices. Depending on how Trump's review of Syrian refugee policy turns out, he's doing little more than returning admissions to normal levels after a four-month pause for security reviews.
  6. The Executive Order is legal. Those invoking the Constitution to attack Trump's order are simply embarrassing themselves. The President has clear statutory authority to take these actions. As noted, his predecessors did so, without much controversy.
  7. This Executive Order is a security measure, not an arbitrary expression of supposed xenophobia.

Meanwhile …

While social justice warriors exploded in hysterics over the weekend, the president continued to work constructively to organize protection for Syrian refugees in the Middle East. Reuters reported today:

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, in a telephone call on Sunday with U.S. President Donald Trump, agreed to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen, a White House statement said.

Trump, during his presidential campaign last year, had called for Gulf states to pay for establishing safe zones to protect Syrian refugees.

A statement after the phone call said the two leaders agreed on the importance of strengthening joint efforts to fight the spread of Islamic State militants.

“The president requested, and the King agreed, to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen, as well as supporting other ideas to help the many refugees who are displaced by the ongoing conflicts,” the statement said.

In a separate article, Reuters reported that the president's supporters across the nation "had a simple message on Sunday for the fiercest opponents of his immigration ban: Calm down."

Good advice, especially since so much public policy work to repair the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system is still ahead.


UPDATE: A Rasmussen Reports poll released on January 30, 2017, found:

  • 57% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a temporary ban on refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen; 33% oppose, and 10% are undecided.
  • 56% favor a temporary block on visas prohibiting residents of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen; 32% oppose the temporary ban, and 11% are undecided.