According to reports, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order this week that would place a temporary ban on immigrants and refugees from certain Middle Eastern countries. The order, say congressional aides who have seen an early draft, will target immigrants from Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Sudan.
Insiders expect the ban to last several months, giving Trump, his State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security a chance to develop an “extreme vetting” process for all incoming migrants. It is in line with promises Trump made on the campaign trail, though it’s unlikely to include a total ban on Muslim immigrants specifically.
The order is bound to create a firestorm of controversy, but even those who think Trump is making a mistake admit that he has the authority to do so.
Stephen Legomsky, who was chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Obama administration, said the president had the authority to limit refugee admissions and the issuance of visas to specific countries if the administration determined it was in the public’s interest.
“From a legal standpoint, it would be exactly within his legal rights,” said Legomsky, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. “But from a policy standpoint, it would be terrible idea because there is such an urgent humanitarian need right now for refugees.”
There is no need so urgent that the U.S. should feel compelled to sacrifice security in the name of being the world’s savior. Trump isn’t putting an end to our country’s humanitarian outreach; some reports suggest he still intends to bring in as many as 50,000 additional Syrian refugees. But there’s a difference between being kind and being stupid – a difference Trump’s predecessor never seemed to grasp.
We need look no further than Western Europe to see the dangers of unrestrained Arab immigration. Germany, Belgium, France, and others have extended an open invitation to suffering Muslims; they have been repaid in bloodshed. And terrorism is only one aspect of the problem. In many of these countries, citizens are growing increasingly worried about a clash of cultures that could fundamentally change what it means to live in a free democracy.
Though painted as highly polarizing by the media, the truth is that most Americans supported Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigration – including many Democrats. And if Trump’s actions prevent the next major American terrorist attack, they will be worth any amount of controversy they create.