Obama Also Put A Hold On Muslim Immigrants In 2011, And The Countries He Banned Were The Same (But He Didn’t Mean It)
Sean Davis of The Federalist has been Tweeting about Obama’s similar “Muslim ban”.
Obama banned refugees from Iraq for six months in 2011. For some reason there was no blue checkmark meltdown then. https://t.co/47jHl181eF
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 28, 2017
It’s not a Muslim ban, it’s a ban on people from a lot of places with terror. For some reason, these are all Muslim places.
Bien pensants are also triggered by the thought that Trump might actually let Christian refugees in. Well, Obama, theoretically a Christian himself, had a de facto ban on Christians:
From Newsweek: U.S. is barring Christian, not Muslim, refugees from Syria https://t.co/Vu3G0Fnqlh
— Peggy Noonan (@Peggynoonannyc) January 28, 2017
Trump pointed this out–the WaPo’s “fact checkers” wouldn’t believe it (are they also going to issue Pinocchios to Newsweek‘s 2016 story, above?)
— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) January 28, 2017
An interesting piece from Seth Frantzman.
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
I was outraged by the ban on refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East. I’ve covered refugees fleeing war in Iraq and Syria over the last two years, meeting families on the road in Greece, Serbia and Macedonia, speaking to poor people in Turkey and Jordan and discussing the hopes and fears of people displaced in Iraq. If you want to ban “terrorists,” these are the last people to hit with a refugee ban. Instead the government should be using the best intelligence possible to find people being radicalized, some of whom have lived in the US their whole lives or who come from countries not affected by the ban, such as Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.
So I was outraged, and then I read the executive order. There are many full texts of the order online, such as at CNN, the NYT, the WSJ or Independent. According to most reports Trump was banning “nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days.” This bars people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. US Senator Elizabeth Warren said “Let’s be clear: A Muslim ban by any other name is still a Muslim ban,” and Senator Chris Murphy claimed “Trump has now handed ISIS a path to rebirth.” Media, such as Vox and the Independent, compared the ban to banning Jews from entry during the Holocaust and bashed Trump for singing the order on Holocaust memorial day. World leaders are “condemning Trump’s Muslim ban,” according to headlines.
I had to see for myself, so I read the executive order. The order does seek “to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States.” It says that it seeks “Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern.” It also 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.” And it targets Syrians specifically. “I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry 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.”
But, wait a sec. According to the reports “The order bars all people hailing from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.” Critics had attacked Trump for selecting these seven countries and not selecting other states “linked to his sprawling business empire.” Bloomberg and Forbes bought into this.
But, wait a sec. I read the order and Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen are not mentioned in it.
Go back and read it again. Do a “ctrl-f” to find “Iraq”. Where is “Iraq” in the order. It’s not there. Only Syria is there. So where are the seven nations? Where is the “Muslim ban”? It turns out this was a form of fake news, or alternative facts. Trump didn’t select seven “Muslim-majority” countries. US President Barack Obama’s administration selected these seven Muslim-majority countries. [More]
The text of Trumps’s executive order does not contain a list of countries–the list the media helpfully spouts–it says this:
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).
That was the list Obama Administration used. Under what is called the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, the Obama Administration “targeted” i.e executed some care, in issuing visas to these countries. Trump has just said, temporarily, “No visas.”
There’s a lot more, including the totally “fake news” aspect that Trump didn’t ban countries “linked to his business interests.
I think Obama’s defenders feel that it’s the same as his “opposition” to gay marriage–he may have banned Muslim immigrants from ISIS-type countries in 2011, when he was facing reelection but he didn’t really mean it.
Trump, by contrast, really wants to protect America, and there’s a lot of opposition to that.