In recent years, radical Islamic extremists have repeatedly attacked innocent civilians around the world. The memories of the massacres in Paris, Nice and Berlin are pressing. We have been victims of terrorism at home too, with the deadly attacks of San Bernardino, the Boston Marathon, and Pulse nightclub still fresh in our minds. The time is now to take action; why should we wait for one more massacre before acting?
We must protect U.S. citizens and secure our porous borders. These are primary responsibilities of the federal government. Our visa system, based on trust, is woefully inadequate to meet the threat which is presented by emigration from the Middle East. We are lacking processes to assure that anyone entering the U.S. has been thoroughly vetted and poses no threat to our country and its citizens. Half of the people in the United States illegally right now came in on a legal visa and overstayed it. These are the issues that the President is seeking to address with his executive action.
There has been much discussion in the press about the executive order issued on January 27th; some accurate, some not. First, the executive order bans refugee admissions to the United States for a period of 120 days and caps refugee admissions at 50,000 per year. These are refugees, not visa holders. They have no inherent claim of right to be admitted into the United States. It is important to note that in 2011, President Barack Obama issued a six-month ban on Iraqi refugees entering the U.S., but there was no outrage from the media then. Additionally, the 50,000 refugee admissions cap is simply a return to the Obama Administration’s cap first six years. Despite these facts, press sensationalism and professional protestors are attempting to paint these as draconian actions carried out by President Trump for the first time in history.
Second, the order bans, for a ninety-day period, those seeking to enter the United States from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, although exceptions can be made by the Secretaries of State or Homeland Security on a case by case basis. The purpose of this ban is to have time to put procedures and processes in place to gain control over our borders and assure the American people that we know who is coming in, why and what they will do here. We should demand no less than these basic safeguards from our government.