Perspective on Trump’s Immigration Order

By | 2017-01-30T14:36:20+00:00 January 30th, 2017|
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The mainstream media has acted irresponsibly in its reporting on President Trump’s executive order on visas, unnecessarily inflaming a situation by failing to report accurately or fairly. Their actions are proving Stephen K. Bannon to be correct: they are not acting as a vigorous free press but rather they are behaving like political operatives with bylines, as members of an “opposition party.” Americans are noticing. We deserve better. We need better.

Amid all the drama, it is appropriate to focus on what got lost in the mainstream media firestorm.

Reportedly, just 109 out of 325,000 people who entered the United States on the first day (that is, 0.00034, or  0.034 percent) were held up for questioning. Of that 109, only several dozen were detained longer than a few hours. Now ask yourself why all the drama over 109 people, most of whom endured only relatively minor inconvenience and were free to go on the same day? Doesn’t that suggest this is an issue which was intentionally blown out of proportion in support of a broader political agenda?

Trump’s order relies on existing law, signed by President Obama, and targets only the seven countries previously approved by Congress (with strong Democratic support) and Obama in 2013-2016 as places where jihadist violence is strong and thus a national security concern.

The executive order is not a “Muslim ban” because there is no specific mention of Muslims in it. There are 50 Muslim-majority countries in the world. The vast majority are not covered by the order.

The executive order institutes a 90-day moratorium on entry of people from those seven countries, a 120-day suspension of refugee admissions, and an indefinite hold on Syrian refugee admissions in order to provide time to review existing policies. Since when does a new administration not have the right to review (and possibly to change) existing policies, especially when that administration ran on the explicit platform of doing so?

I have no disagreement with the negative reactions to the green card issue, although there appears to have been either confusion about what was actually required or a quick policy adjustment—as the order allows—made over the weekend. It is unfortunate that some legal residents got caught up in that bureaucratic confusion, but it appears to have been resolved for now.

Obama suspended the admission of refugees from Iraq for six months in 2011, longer than Trump’s order does. Obama also restricted entry by Cubans with no end date. The people who are upset at Trump were silent and not upset with Obama for doing the same thing to Iraqis and Cubans. Why? It also appears that the mainstream media did not adequately report the Obama suspension while they are reporting this order as a Muslim ban. Why is that acceptable? Jimmy Carter also barred Iranians from entering the United States after Ayatollah Khomeini took over.

Trump’s order caps total future refugee admissions at 50,000 a year, a rate equal to close to the average rate of the 15 years before Obama’s dramatic expansion in 2016. One of my friends wrote these words while on a cruise near Australia and New Zealand:  “To hear CNN International tell it, the refugees are being drawn and quartered, held without food or water, and not allowed to communicate with anyone.”

Obama admitted an average of 50 Syrians per year for the first four years after the Syrian civil war began in 2011. He boosted the number to 1,682 in 2015 and then 13,000 last year—without any visible vetting criteria in place. Given the jihadist presence in Syria, why is it unreasonable to be concerned about importing extremists if more are allowed into the United States? The European experience shows that some of the terrorist attacks were carried out by people who came in as refugees. Why should it be acceptable for the United States to accept similar risks? If people are looking at it as a humanitarian issue, why the years of silence toward Obama and now rage at Trump?

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar have refused to admit any Syrian refugees. Why? What might they know that we either don’t know or don’t appear to want to know? Why the silence from the people protesting against the executive order? How interesting that, after talking to Trump within 48 hours of signing the order,  Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi announced their support and funding for a new, out-of-the-box, way to respond to the Syrian and Yemeni refugee crisis, providing safe zones for these people in their home regions.

Sixteen Muslim countries (Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq—except Iraqi Kurdistan—Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan
, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen) refuse to allow entry into their countries by people with Israeli passports. Eight of those countries (Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) won’t admit people —regardless of religious or national heritage—whose passports show entry into Israel. Those are far more restrictive actions than the Trump order. Why the silence from the people protesting against this new order? Such intolerance is no small part of the Muslim tradition. How will that longstanding practice reflect on their willingness to assimilate into American life?

Sharia law is incompatible with American law yet many polls show a majority of Muslims around the world favor the imposition of sharia law. Many Muslim religious and cultural norms involving monogamy, equal rights for women, converting from Islam to Christianity, tolerance for minorities and gays are also incompatible with American cultural norms. During my travels, I found out it was illegal to bring Bibles and rosaries into Saudi Arabia, as well as to hold any form of Christian worship services. Non-Muslims are not allowed in Mecca and Medina. Are Muslims coming into America willing to assimilate, to waive a desire to bring sharia law and some of their conflicting cultural norms into our country?

Do we really want to import what has already gone on in Rotherham (ask the 1,400 sexually abused children), Paris (ask the police who can’t patrol certain neighborhoods), Cologne (ask the women who were assaulted in public places), and Stockholm (ask about the violence)? Why is it politically incorrect to talk about these actual events, which have adversely affected real people’s lives in numerous countries? Why does the Left either excuse or ignore such behaviors? Are you willing to live with these kinds of behavior in your neighborhood?

Trump’s executive order is a necessary first step toward addressing the fundamental question: How to differentiate between Muslim immigrants who share our values and want to escape the horrors of their country versus those who wish to bring their culture with them?

It is in our nation’s self-interest to develop an effective way to distinguish between those two groups. Responsible people care about developing a thoughtful response. We could use more such people in the public square.

About the Author:

D Hawthorne
D. Hawthorne is an entrepreneur and corporate CEO. He is a graduate of Harvey Mudd College and of Stanford Business School.
  • Dave Edwards

    This is a truly glorious time to be alive when a leader – a strong leader full of vigor and conviction – is leading our Nation to a place of economic, cultural, military, and (above all) moral fortitude. We will have peace in our time. We will build a new world; we will build a better world – ultimately. This is I know for sure.

    What’s sad is that the unwieldy court system now has tied up a signature triumph of this new leader. We must stand with President Trump and his administration to ensure the Security of the Nation. Only when the Nation is Secure can prosperity truly begin. This seven-country travel ban will make us Safer. Something I have no doubt we all want for ourselves and our progeny: Safety.

    We either have borders or we do not. We either have laws or we do not. We either have a Nation or we do not. Ultimately, we either have a civilization or we do not. If we do not have civilization, then we have barbarism and anarchy – like we see in Syria presently. Rejoice, friends, at this new world before us! It will be a better world if we can will it.

    • Severn

      You’re such a fascist stooge.

      Can you offer any coherent and intelligent explanation as to why Trump’s actions are a bad idea? I won’t be holding my breath.

      • Dave Edwards

        You can’t read? I bet you want a one-world Communist order, Marx.

        • Severn

          Can’t you ever say what you mean and mean what you say? It often seems that the defining trait of the Left is their utter refusal to ever argue in good faith. You people could be not honest if your lives depended on it.

  • Uncle Max

    Yep. Well stated. The press is willfully misrepresenting and flaming the hystronics, aided by the ACLU and the usual suspects…. and Trump draws friendly-fire for not thinking this through. Sad. Washington DC is full of idiots who don’t know what’s going on.

  • DH

    Here are several additional links to news articles that only further reinforce the American Greatness article’s key points –

    What the Left’s leadership is saying now:

    ‘Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty’: Lawmakers unload on Trump’s moves to limit refugee programs

    Is contradicted by their past behaviors –

    Example #1: These 73 sitting Democrats voted to ban visas from some Muslim countries and that law still exists

    Example #2: Schumer – Refugee pause may be necessary (11/17/15)

    All of this is a reminder that the public drama about this EO is not about facts and it’s not about policy preferences. It’s all about power politics in the moment and the press is choosing to either misrepresent that or ignore that. Because they have chosen to act like partisans instead of a free and independent press.

  • Peter

    One of the things that concerns me is that often it is not the first generation that is the problem, but the second generation. The first generation understands what this country has to offer and the hell they came from, while the second generation does not and feels alienated from the majority culture, making them ripe for radicalism. In other words, the risk does not end with careful screening.

  • QET

    Well one thing is certain. All those kids are not pouring into the streets over the temporary halt to entry from 7 countries. This is just the latest excuse for them to form up into mobs and enjoy the feeling that comes from sheer arbitrary exercise of will. It is not something that can be discounted.

    Imagine Trump is voted out in 2020. People like the mobbers, like the ex-Acting AG who believe it is their responsibility to use whatever State power is at their disposal to inflict their vision of what is “wise and just” on the rest of us, will fill up every little crevice in government and continue their pursuit of their divine mission with all the righteous fury and indignation they now display.

    These are the people who would govern you.

    • jack dobson

      We are in the midst of a cold civil war. The only reason it has grown hotter is that those under assault have started to hit back. Let’s hope cool heads prevail, and that the full force of the federal government is used to control violent mobs and jail those who incite them.

    • CrazyHungarian

      Those kids pouring into the streets do not do so without the organization and the funding provided by subversive groups mostly funded by George Soros and his ilk.

  • Kate Pitrone

    The vast majority of those coming here from those seven countries are trying to get away from Sharia law and the other horrors described here. Someone else said it here, but the real problem in the US is with the second generation. They are, statistically, the ones more likely to blow us up or shoot us down.

    The EO says that exceptions will be made on an individual basis. Is this really any different from what has been the case? I read that some of the Syrian refugees attempting to come here have been being vetted for up to 36 months at this point. What’s another three? When getting out of a war zone, it can mean everything.

    Granted, the president has a right to do this. Right now, it seems arbitrary. Nothing special has happened to instigate this ban. It makes his fans cheer. It really doesn’t do much for our safety. But only a few attacks in the US have been by recently arrived Muslims and those not in many years, which might imply that our vetting procedures have been working pretty well.

    Oh well. Trump begins to fulfill a campaign promise. Really, isn’t that what matters here? Isn’t what this is all about?

    People told me before he was elected that he would start national conversations about immigration and other issues facing America. Well, you have your conversation. It’s noisy. It’s rancorous. Make good arguments.

    • DH

      Kate, I think you raise a really good point about the second generation issue. Which leads my thinking back to the issue of assimilation, post-arrival. For that assimilation to be successful, I believe there is a need for some form of a consensus to exist about what are the values of our American culture so that we can both offer something for people to be drawn to and set an expectations bar about what it means to assimilate. Lots of nuances to that as we want people to share some core beliefs but then have the liberty to live their individual lives.

      • Kate

        Doesn’t that come to the problem we have in our educational system? We have native Americans who know nothing about our history, ideals of liberty, or are taught those through a Marxist lens without knowing that’s a distortion. That’s where our problem with the second generation comes from.

        • DH

          Exactly. I think that is the result of cultural Marxism’s long march through our institutions, including and maybe especially education. We have a bunch of know-nothing kids whose minds have been polluted with both a relativistic moral nihilism and lack of knowledge/attachment for the American Founding. I first worry about the first-generation Muslims coming into the country who lack a desire to assimilate, similar to what has been seen in Europe. And then I worry about how they show up with incompatible cultural heritages and enter a formless culture that doesn’t believe in much and doesn’t ask them to assimilate. There is no e pluribus unum expectation anymore. Our lack of character formation at the individual/family level has metastasized to the broad culture, to our great detriment.

          • Kate

            The thing is, most of them do assimilate. It’s those who don’t who are unhappy, aside from becoming social problems. Maybe we ought to create processes for returning those who find the USA a disappointment? We could frame that as being for their benefit, but really, we would all benefit.

    • HughdePayens

      Well there are an awful lot of suffering people in this world…do they all have a right to come and live here? Do the American people get a say in this or must we simply stand aside as our betters make decisions based on their desire to virtue signal their goodness to their fellow travelers?

      Why must we accept even one more? At a time when our inner-cities are being overrun by crime and misery, when more and more poor are finding it harder to make ends meet why must we become Europe?

      • Kate Pitrone

        You are speaking as a “better”. Do you feel the right to tell all people where to live? I didn’t think so. We ought to do a better job of choosing who gets to stay here and who doesn’t. We ought to do a better job of teaching Americans to be Americans, too.

        My family came from Europe. The first ones came in 1622. Some came as late as 1886. My husband’s families didn’t show up until after the turn of the last century. It’s an alien idea to me that we would refuse people who want to be Americans. Cleveland has always been an ethnically diverse city, which is probably how I married that Italian/Polish kid. We were of different religions, too.

        I’ll agree that we don’t have to take everyone. We need to reform our immigration laws. People who come here to be productive participants in making America great seem to me to belong here. Honestly, others need not apply.

        I don’t see what our inner cities have to do with immigration. Most states won’t take impoverished immigrants. California? That’s a Californian problem, isn’t it?

        Finally, as to virtue signalling, is that different than what you are doing with your friends here? In America today, one man’s virtue is another man’s sin

        • HughdePayens

          I am speaking as an American. I get a vote. And yes I have the right to tell people they cannot come into my country. Apparently you seem to feel that Americans should just sit quietly and take it…just as the Germans and other hapless Europeans are doing.

          Here is Open Border Lover Kennedy lying in 1965.

          “Out of deference to the critics, I want to comment on … what the bill will not do. First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset … Contrary to the charges in some quarters, S.500 will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and economically deprived nations of Africa and Asia. In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think. Thirdly, the bill will not permit the entry of subversive persons, criminals, illiterates, or those with contagious disease or serious mental illness. As I noted a moment ago, no immigrant visa will be issued to a person who is likely to become a public charge … the charges I have mentioned are highly emotional, irrational, and with little foundation in fact. They are out of line with the obligations of responsible citizenship. They breed hate of our heritage.”(Senate Part 1, Book 1, pp. 1-3)

        • Brother John the Deplorable

          It’s an alien idea to me that we would refuse people who want to be Americans.
          People who come here to be productive participants in making America
          great seem to me to belong here. Honestly, others need not apply.

          Are these positions contradictory? Do we not have the right to refuse entry to anyone for any reason we wish? What does our prior arrival have to do with whether or not people fleeing barbarism — and bringing said barbarism with them — is a good idea?

        • jack dobson

          We have an absolute right and obligation to control immigration, and frankly a total moratorium is in order.

    • jack dobson

      Actually it is more than a campaign promise. There is no need for additional immigration to the United States, and there is no guarantee that the young men streaming out of Syria have not committed genocide and/or are jihadists.

  • jack dobson

    Actually, a full-on Muslim ban would be constitutional. Whether advisable or not is a different issue. There is no need to be defensive here (the essay, per usual, was excellent but the point needed to be emphasized). Not a single thing in the Executive Order, revised so as not to pertain to Lawful Permanent Residents, is unlawful. Even that caveat needs a caveat–LPR status can be revoked if granted under false pretenses, and it very well may be some of the Middle Eastern Muslims earlier admitted participated in the genocide against Christians and other religious minorities. They need to be deported or put on trial for crimes against humanity.
    As pointed out by earlier commenters, there is no right to immigrate to the United States, or even to visit here. Given there is no need for additional labor due to the surplus caused by automation, there really isn’t a reason we shouldn’t have a thirty or so year immigration moratorium as in past periods. President Trump needs to consider a total immigration moratorium, expand the number of countries affected by his EO, defund the refugee industry, and bar Syrian refugees permanently once the review period passes. Then he can go onto the messier business of deportations.
    It is a time for bold, nation-saving action and President Trump is the man to implement it.

  • CrazyHungarian

    It is a fundamental right and duty of every sovereign nation to control its borders and to control the entry of new residents. It is also the responsibility of that nation to ensure that those new residents will not present significant risk to the nation (like disease, crime or insurgence) and will not become a financial burden upon that nation. It is NOT the responsibility of a nation to allow unlimited entry just because those outside want to enjoy the fruits of the hard working citizens. I say that as a thankful refugee that was welcome, assimilated, naturalized and received no taxpayer assistance in doing so.

  • DH

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali – “In the course of working with Muslim communities over the past two decades, I have come to distinguish between four types of Muslim immigrants: adapters, menaces, coasters and fanatics.”

  • DH

    Case studies, part 1 of 3:

    Here are 6 additional examples of what has gone wrong with refugees in Europe, how there is support for ISIS among Syrian refugees, and another then-and-now case study highlighting the Left’s political posturing and hypocrisy toward refugees –

    #1 – Germany, Q1-Q2 2016: Angela Merkel under more pressure over refugee policy as it is revealed migrants committed 142,500 crimes in Germany during the first six months of 2016

    #2 – Germany, Q1 2016: Migrants linked to 69,000 would-be or actual crimes in Germany in first three months of 2016

  • DH

    Case studies, part 3 of 3:

    #5 – Syrian refugees, November 2014: 13 Percent of Syrian Refugees Support ISIS

    #6 – Vietnamese refugees, 1975: Jerry Brown, Biden and other Dems refused to accept Vietnamese refugees

    Isn’t it striking how so many people are unwilling to incorporate these tangible case studies into a substantive debate in the public square?

  • DH

    Case studies, part 2 of 3:

    #3 – Germany, 2015: Germany’s migrant crisis: Refugees committed more than 200,000 crimes last year

    #4 – England and Wales, August 2016: Over 56% of Syrian refugees committed severe crimes in less than a year

  • DH

    When it comes to callousness on Syrian refugees, Obama trumps Trump
    Walter Russell Mead and Nicholas Gallagher

  • DH

    Kuwait issues its own Trump-esque visa ban for five Muslim-majority countries

    FTA: Citizens from five Muslim-majority countries will no longer be able to obtain Kuwaiti visas, after reports the Gulf state issued tight entry restrictions that mirrored US President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

    Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans will not be able to obtain visit, tourism or trade Kuwaiti visas with the news coming one day after the US slapped its own restrictions on seven Muslim-majority countries…

    Kuwaiti sources told local media that the restrictions were in place due to the “instability” in the five countries and that the ban would be lifted once the security situation improves.

  • DH

    FTA: Did these news outlets know that the airport protests had been carefully planned? Or that stories they were getting about disarray and families torn apart were being fed to them by activist groups?

    After all, the organizations involved in planning the “spontaneous” protests all seemed eager to share their successes with the Daily Beast, including about how they were in “constant contact with … lawyers’ associations, lawmakers, reporters … .”

    The fact that the mainstream press either ignorantly fell for — or were active participants in — what amounts to anti-Trump agitprop calls into question much of the rest of the coverage about these events. How much of what was being reported as fact was actually made up or wildly exaggerated by professional activists?

    • Mark Duerr

      And even more to the point about protests generally: why does anyone care what a few dozen or few hundred or even thousands of protesters think or–more likely–“feel”? One person, one vote.

  • DH

    FTA: The Catholic Archbishop of Erbil has denounced the hypocrisy of those protesting President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration, wondering aloud where all of the demonstrators were when Islamic State fighters were slaughtering Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.

    • Mark Duerr


  • DH

    How big is the sharia law risk? Consider this Pew survey result, which shows that over 60% of Muslims in each of these 20 countries believe sharia should be the law of the land –

    Afghanistan – 99%
    Iraq – 91%
    Palestinian territory – 89%
    Malaysia – 86%
    Niger – 86%
    Pakistan – 84% (#2 largest Muslim population)
    Morocco – 83%
    Bangladesh – 82% (#4 largest Muslim population)
    Djibouti – 82%
    Thailand – 77%
    Egypt – 74%, (#6 largest Muslim population)
    DR Congo – 74%
    Indonesia – 72% (#1 largest Muslim population)
    Nigeria – 71% (#5 largest Muslim population)
    Jordan – 71%
    Uganda – 66%
    Ethiopia – 65%
    Mozambique – 65%
    Kenya – 64%
    Mali – 63%

    Pew survey sources:
    1. Regarding sharia law, in 2013 –…/the-worlds-muslims-religion…/

    (They did not survey Saudi Arabia, Iran, or India where the latter ranks #3 in Muslim population; I would be willing to bet that KSA and Iran would easily be over 60% for sharia law)

    2. Regarding size of Muslim population by country in 2010 -…/…/pf_15-04-02_projectionstables74/

    All of this means that sharia law is an issue directly connected to the Muslim immigration question.

    Also relevant are the high Muslim birthrates and the Western worlds below-replacement birthrates. If you look at Muslim/non-Muslim population mix projections for Europe around 2050 based on those birthrates, ask yourself how they will say no to sharia law in those future years.

    I find the silence of the American Left toward all the abuses and extremism in the Muslim world to be particularly striking. For all the talk about multi-culturism here, the Left is striking silent about the need for multi-culturism in the Muslim world. That amounts to a unilateral cultural surrender.

    A Facebook friend recently added these thoughts: “The vetting of refugees is based on multiple false assumptions. First, most terrorists have never committed an act before, so there’s nothing to vet. Second, the record keeping methods in other countries are useless. Third, the types of records, even if they are found, are not built to call out their own anyway – they don’t track what we’d need to know. Fourth, and most important, the problem isn’t even terrorism. It’s the culture itself. It’s bringing the Imams, sharia and the way of life. It’s creating cultural and demographic time bombs.”

    All of which drives home how this is a complicated topic where we need discernment and the time to think through policies that are protective of our country’s security and culture.

  • DH

    More readings on the Executive Order and nature of the Islamic Terrorism threat –

    Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration Is Both Legal and Constitutional
    Hans von Spakovsky

    Jayna Davis on Facebook (2/7/17)

    “My book, The Third Terrorist, serves as the 21st century blueprint for terrorists masquerading as refugees to infiltrate our borders to inflict mass casualties. I discovered during a nine-year investigation into the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, that 8 Iraqi Army Gulf War veterans gained entry into the U.S. as “asylum seekers” without any provable documentation as to the veracity of their claims of political persecution. Within 6 months, this cadre of Iraqi soldiers teamed up with two disgruntled U.S. Army servicemen, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, to execute the deadliest act of terror in 20th century America.
    Today, the White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks worldwide that the Trump Administration believes the press has largely ignored. The media, including USA Today, counters that all the incidents that went unreported were either “non-fatal or resulted in two or fewer deaths.”
    I believe the evidence that supports President Trump’s profound concern regarding the mortal threat of ISIS sympathizers and trained terrorists penetrating our borders as false defectors resides in the ashes of the heartland massacre.
    The Washington judge that issued the stay on President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring immigrants from seven terror-sponsoring countries boasted in court last Friday that there have been no arrests of foreign nationals from those countries since 9/11. While the Iraqi nationals implicated in the OKC bombing have not been brought to justice due to the obstruction of the Clinton Administration, the two dozen sworn witness affidavits that affirm their guilt stand unrefuted to this day.”

    You can find her book here –

    Here’s A Short List Of Foreign-Born Terrorists Reporters Can’t Believe Exist
    The executive order by the Trump administration on immigration led to an urgent desire to proclaim there is no terrorism threat from immigrants. False.
    Kyle Shideler

    Shideler has previously contributed to this book
    Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace