On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees from entering the United States and suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days. The executive order established a 90-day ban on citizens from “countries of particular concern” and created an “extreme vetting” process to “ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.”
On Saturday, protests erupted at airports across the country.
On Sunday, Trump issued a statement clarifying the “extreme vetting” process:
America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave.
We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say. My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.
This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.
With the exception of Syria, Trump’s executive order does not name any countries. Instead, it incorporates by reference the majority Muslim countries identified in a memo by Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security as “countries of concern” – Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
DHS is tasked with implementing the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. Congresspersons who voted for the Act flocked to airports to denounce Trump’s “Muslim ban.” Congressman Bob Brady and Sen. Bob Casey joined the thousands of protesters at Philadelphia airport. Casey was still clad in his white tie tuxedo for the Academy of Music’s annual ball.
Brady and Casey failed to mention they voted for the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act which was included in the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
It should be noted that Philadelphia’s population is 44 percent African American. The city is home to an estimated 200,000 Muslims of whom 85 percent are black. Yet few African Americans participated in the #PHLairport protests.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued to block implementation of the executive order. Federal Judge Ann M. Donnelly from the Eastern District of New York, an Obama appointee, blocked part of the order. Donnelly ruled that refugees and foreign nationals who were legally on their way to the U.S. before the executive order was issued must be allowed entry. The ruling covers airport detainees and those already in transit, 100 to 200 foreign nationals. The executive order was not struck down.
In a statement, DHS said it would comply with the court orders:
Upon issuance of the court orders yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immediately began taking steps to comply with the orders. Concurrently, the Department of Homeland Security continues to work with our partners in the Departments of Justice and State to implement President Trump’s executive order on protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.
We are committed to ensuring that all individuals affected by the executive orders, including those affected by the court orders, are being provided all rights afforded under the law. We are also working closely with airline partners to prevent travelers who would not be granted entry under the executive orders from boarding international flights to the U.S. Therefore, we do not anticipate that further individuals traveling by air to the United States will be affected.
Now get this: The ACLU represents illegal immigrants who ignore our border, immigration laws and judicial deportation orders. They now complain CBP agents are ignoring the court orders.
One week into the Age of Trump, up is down and down is up.