By Jason Taylor
The tragic event of last Monday night in Manchester has once again underscored the futility of the proposed travel ban by the Trump administration: yet again the perpetrator was native born, not someone who entered the country as an immigrant or a refugee. Yes, the agencies charged with customs and immigration should absolutely keep an eye on and be mindful of those who come and go, but imposing a travel ban seems to be of little use and value, if at all.
There is a constitutional principle that a governmental action must be “rationally related” to a “legitimate governmental interest.” The action here is an executive order that would impede entry into the United States by Iranians, Yemenis and certain other nationals. The “governmental interest” is legitimate and very clear: to prevent terrorism on American soil. But what is the relationship between the action and the interest? I see none – either rational or even irrational.
How does excluding Iranians from our country make us safer from terrorism? As far as I know, no terrorist attack in the United States has ever been made by an Iranian, a Yemeni, etc. Why not exclude Peruvians, too? But I do know that terrorism has been carried out by citizens of other countries that are not on the list – most notably Saudi Arabia.
Leaving aside the (perfectly clear) religious discrimination of the order, the order fails (it seems to me) on the grounds that it is entirely irrational – unless, perhaps, the arbitrary bigotry and hatred in Donald Trump’s mind is considered rational.
This news comes during the same international trip in which Trump cozies up to the House of Saud and orchestrates a $100B weapons package. Thousands of American weapons going to Saudi Arabia, the country most responsible for developing, financing, and training jihadists. Including 9/11.
But we’ll ignore that because…oil profits? Trump Hotel Riyadh? A chance to blame Iran for everything, and thus Obama by extension? Can anyone explain how the man supposedly standing up to radical Islam makes that his first international stop?
But sure, let’s detain Syrian refugees. Let’s round up Dreamer children and ship them back to Mexico. Let’s make it illegal for my dual-citizen Iranian / American friend to go visit his parents. That will keep us safe.
“The Trump administration had urged the appeals court to ignore the statements as loose language made before the president assumed office.”
Apparently, it never occurred to Trump that anyone would actually take seriously anything he said while campaigning. He certainly did not.