Monday, January 30, 2017

Trump Executive Order a Game Changer. History Maker, or Simply Chaos?


President Trump began the weekend by issuing an executive order that has sparked a global political backlash.  Its hard to know where to start. 

CNN reports that President Donald Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority nations marks an early defining moment for his presidency and an inflection point in America's posture toward Islam and the outside world that could resonate in history.  The move, which also temporarily bars refugees from entering the US, ushers in the first clash between Trump's leadership style and what his critics see as bedrock values that define the nation.  It also represents a shift in US counter-terrorism tactics and a turn in the debate underpinning national security policy since the 9/11 attacks -- how to best keep Americans safe and battle extremism at home and abroad without alienating Muslims in a way that could foster more radicalism.

Lawsuits have been brought and injunctive relief ordered barring full implementation of the Executive Order.  Protests of the implementation of the Executive Order occurred yesterday at airports across the United States.


Protesters rally against President Trump's refugee ban at Miami International Airport on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017.   Courtesy of the Washington Post


Protesters at LAX. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times


UC Davis had faculty, students, and alums join in the effort to help immigrants at the airports.  As this story describes, Sara Ehsani-Nia, a second-year law student at UC Davis, went to San Francisco International Airport yesterday to work as a translator for the Asian Law Caucus. She helped the agency gain the release of an elderly Iranian couple that flew into Northern California to visit relatives.

Read more here:

In a statement released yesterday, President Trump denied that his Executive Order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days was a "Muslim Ban" and cited a policy of President Obama as a precedent.  The full statement reads as follows:

"America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will have to do so while protecting our own citizens and border. America has always been the land of the free and the 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. I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering." 

As the Washington Post reports, the statement is not quelling the controversy.


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