The Media’s Unethical Reporting On Trump’s Refugee Pause Order: Does Telling The Whole Story Fairly And Accurately Even Matter To These Hacks Any More? Does Their Trump-Hating Audience Even Care?

How many of these protesters have read the Executive Order they are protesting? My guess; none of them.

How many of these protesters have read the Executive Order they are protesting? My guess: none of them.

I didn’t intend this to become Outrageously Unethical Journalism Sunday, but that’s how it is turning out. Not my fault. Don’t blame the messenger.

Here, for the sake of organization and clarity, are some things that you may not have been told about the Trump refugee order that all the Sunday Morning TV shows are and the news sources yesterday were going nuts over. I couldn’t watch all of the former, of course, and some are going on as I write this. Maybe some responsible journalism snuck in, and if it did, please let me know who was responsible, in both senses of the word. So far, however, the mainstream news media is doubling down on its determination not to allow facts to get in the way of its 24-7 effort to demonize President Trump, and my increasingly bats Facebook friends, and yours, I assume, are taking it all as the Utter Truth…

I. Calling the Trump Executive Order a “Muslim Ban” is a lie. Nothing less.

II. In 2011, President Obama ordered a halt to the acceptance of refugees from Iraq for six months (that’s twice the three months of the Trump order yesterday) with no adverse reaction from the news media whatsoever.

III. The seven nations targeted in Trump’s order were not his administration’s collection, but Obama’s, with the addition of Iran.

IV. All of this had to be included in any competent, fair and truthful report about yesterday’s order. As of yesterday, none of it was, at least in major news sources, or the information was buried deep in the reports under hysterical headlines.

Got all that?

It is 100% true. If you were not aware of it before, you are misinformed. If you or your family, friends or acquaintances were on social media proclaiming that the order proves Trump is Hitler, just as you suspected, without knowing the above, you are spreading fake news. If you did this while knowing the above, you are deliberately misrepresenting reality to press your misguided false narrative. Or, in the alternative, you are a rationalizing fool.

Remember, no ethical analysis can proceed without accurately establishing the answer to the question, “What’s going on here?” If one does not have the facts, one cannot perform the analysis. Answering the question incorrectly, as in “What’s going on here is that a xenophobic madman just violated the Constitutional right to the free exercise of religion!!!! ARGGGHHH!” also guarantees a flawed analysis.

You will note that the best sources for establishing the shockingly biased and unethical reportage of this event are conservative sources. This is because this right-biased alternative to the left-biased news media developed specifically for situations like this, in which the truth is deliberately skewed by political bias from the exact same people the public has been taught to trust to keep it informed. As the previous post also demonstrates, that trust is no longer warranted.

Right up front, I want to credit Prof. William Jacobson of Cornell Law School. Every single news source had an obligation to include the information he researched and posted on his blog, but none did.  Now, some details:

1. Read the order itself. Scroll past it if you want to my commentary, but as the professor says, “You should read the actual EO, because most of the media and leftist pundits either have not or are lying if they have.” It is long; I have formatted it for easier reading, but it is long. Nonetheless, the news media have proven beyond, not just a reasonable doubt but the shadow of a doubt that its journalists cannot be trusted to digest this kind of document and relay it truthfully.

Res ipsa loquitur: CNN, from which I obtained the text, headlines the order,

Full text of Trump’s executive order on 7-nation ban, refugee suspension

But there is no ban! That headline is fake news. If you don’t read the order yourself, and yet start ranting on Facebook about the suspension of freedom of religion or some other non-factual nonsense, then you are irresponsible, and you are spreading disinformation. Read it yourself, ascertain what it means if you are uncertain, or shut up about it.

And welcome the era of biased, untrustworthy, partisan journalism.

Here is the EO:

PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Purpose. The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.

Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes.

Sec. 3. Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern.

(a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.

c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), 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).

(d) Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.

(e) After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (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) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.

(f) At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.

(g) Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

(h) The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 days of the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 4. Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs.

(a) The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant’s ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017.

(a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures. Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b) Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

(c) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), 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.

(d) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

(f) The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.

(g) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

Sec. 6. Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility. The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda.

Sec. 7. Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System.

(a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section. The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order. Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

Sec. 8. Visa Interview Security.

(a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.

(b) To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

Sec. 9. Visa Validity Reciprocity. The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.
Sec. 10. Transparency and Data Collection.

(a) To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:

(i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later;

(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

(b) The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels.

Sec. 11. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE

January 27, 2017

2.  This is not a “Muslim Ban.” That is the narrative, though: the Twitter hashtag #MuslimBan is being used all over social media. It is false. The proof of this is direct and irrefutable: most of the countries with the largest Muslim populations are not on the list. You know, nations like Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Nigeria, and many more?  There are three million Muslims in the United Kingdom, and this order doesn’t affect them either. Since most of the Muslim world is not affected, calling the order a Muslim ban is intentionally misleading.

The ban part is also false. The order suspends, not bans, the  acceptance of refugees from six countries for four months only while procedures are reviewed.  Syria is the exception; no time limit for the suspension was set, so it could conceivably become a ban, but stating that now is wrong, and pure speculation.

3. There is precedent for such a suspension, and guess which President recently enacted one? In 2011, Barack Obama’s  State Department stopped processing Iraq refugee requests for six months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation found evidence that several dozen terrorists from Iraq had infiltrated the United States via the refugee program. For the mathematically challenged, six months (Obama) is longer than four months (Trump.) Funny thing, though: there wasn’t merely less uproar over Obama’s suspension ( The standard: Obama wise and good, criticism racist; Trump stupid and evil, freak-out mandatory), there was none whatsoever. Why, you may wonder? Washington Post Fact-Checker Glenn Kessler, once again in the throes of that liberal bias that grabs his brain by the throat now and then, rushed to Twitter to defend his paper’s favorite President and his profession’s honor:

“two big differences: 1) pause was not announced at the time, done quietly. reporters only found out years later. 2) not based on religion.”

Ah! So the difference is that the Trump Administration is transparent, and the Most Transparent Administration ever, as promised by President Obama, hid the same kind of measure, and our crack investigative media, asleep on the job as it was for eight long years, didn’t perform its job diligently, just as Obama counted on!  Is that what you are saying, Glenn?

That’s exactly what Glenn was saying. As for his second point, see my first one above.

4. The seven countries were not chosen just to be mean to Muslims. Six of them are failed states known to have significant ISIS activity. These were selected last year by the Obama administration as posing special risks for visa entry. That’s right: this is Obama’s list, not Trump’s, plus Iran, the sworn enemy of the U.S. and sponsor of global terrorism that President Obama believed was trustworthy enough to give billions of dollars to in exchange for a promise. To be fair to CNN, it did note, if without sufficient emphasis,  that Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen were all named in a 2016 law concerning immigration visas as “countries of concern.”

5.  The claim that the order discriminates against Muslims while favoring Christians is dishonest and misleading. The order doesn’t mention the words Islam, Muslim or Christian anywhere. If you read the order, I’m sure you recall this part:

Sec. 5(b) Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

Prof. Jacobson explains..

“This is being referred to as a de facto discrimination against Muslims because it mostly applies to Christians. Well, that’s because Christians are the most persecuted religion in the Middle East, by Muslims. If there were a country in which Muslims were persecuted by another majority religion, they would get preference.

“In fact, this religious persecution test has long been the case in refugee cases, but has been twisted to discriminate against Christians, as this September 2016 column by Eliott Abrams explained:

The headline for this column—The U.S. Bars Christian, Not Muslim, Refugees From Syria—will strike many readers as ridiculous.

But the numbers tell a different story: The United States has accepted 10,801 Syrian refugees, of whom 56 are Christian. Not 56 percent; 56 total, out of 10,801. That is to say, one-half of 1 percent.

The BBC says that 10 percent of all Syrians are Christian, which would mean 2.2 million Christians. It is quite obvious, and President Barack Obama and Secretary John Kerry have acknowledged it, that Middle Eastern Christians are an especially persecuted group.

So how is it that one-half of 1 percent of the Syrian refugees we’ve admitted are Christian, or 56, instead of about 1,000 out of 10,801—or far more, given that they certainly meet the legal definition?

The definition: someone who “is located outside of the United States; is of special humanitarian concern to the United States; demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.”

Somewhere between a half million and a million Syrian Christians have fled Syria, and the United States has accepted 56. Why?

“This is de facto discrimination and a gross injustice,” Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, told Fox News. Fox notes another theory: The United States takes refugee referrals from the U.N. refugee camps in Jordan, and there are no Christians there.

Jacobson covers other false representations in the news reports, but that is sufficient to make the point; do read his entire post. His final paragraph is also worth repeating:

It is possible to criticize the EO and Trump visa/refugee policy without hyperbole and fakery. That opponents feel the need to make false and misleading accusations is a signal that they fear losing the policy argument on its merits.

Bingo.

52 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Religion and Philosophy, Rights, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, U.S. Society

52 responses to “The Media’s Unethical Reporting On Trump’s Refugee Pause Order: Does Telling The Whole Story Fairly And Accurately Even Matter To These Hacks Any More? Does Their Trump-Hating Audience Even Care?

  1. Regarding your first point, you say “the order suspends, not bans, the acceptance of refugees” for four months. In other words, they’re banned for four months. There’s nothing about the word “ban” that implies it has to be forever. Everyone knows that rules are always subject to change. In this case, a “suspension” is the same thing as a “temporary ban.” There’s no significant difference here.

    I think everybody opposed to the executive order was well aware that it wasn’t literally a ban on all people of Muslim faith, but Muslim faith is one of the things that all the affected people have in common. That is intentional. Donald Trump campaigned on a ban on Muslim immigration. We also have a statement from Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani saying that Trump approached him about the “Muslim Ban,” using those words, and asked him to “show me the right way to do it legally.” The recent executive order is substantially similar to the plan Giuliani’s team came up with. In other words, the executive order is Trump’s attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to ban Muslims. Referring to it colloquially as the “Muslim ban” is entirely reasonable.

    • You can play rhetorical games if you want to, Mark, but you’re not a journalist. A journalist is supposed to use words with precision. My son had his license suspended. He is not “banned from driving.” Alex Rodriguez was suspended for a season. Pete Rose was banned from baseball.

      “but Muslim faith is one of the things that all the affected people have in common’ —yes, because Islamic terrorism is the objective. That is still not a Muslim ban. That’s deceit, Mark. Factual,but misleading. It is not reasonable, because it encourages a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of the order. Not everyone is as astute as you.

      • Chris

        This is the first thing that comes up on Google when I search the phrase “ban definition:”

        officially or legally prohibit.
        “he was banned from driving for a year”
        synonyms: prohibit, forbid, veto, proscribe, disallow, outlaw, make illegal, embargo, bar, debar, block, stop, suppress, interdict; More

        So I think that, like you do with many words, you are using a definition with a much stricter meaning than common knowledge allows. This is a ban.

        Windypundit is also correct that this is certainly the first step at fulfilling the “Muslim ban” that Trump originally proposed, and that his most devout followers are panting for.

        I won’t defend Obama’s ban or the lack of media coverage toward it, but Trump’s is obviously more expansive, and applies even to green card holders who were not allowed to re-enter the country until the ACLU stepped in.

        • 1. Ban, without qualifications, means a ban without limits. It you mean a 4-month ban, then the factual term is “Four Month Ban.” “BAN” is misleading.

          2. You haven’t read the professor’s whole post yet. (Not an indictment, just noting.) He writes,

          Green Card Holders

          There are reports that holders of Green Cards from those 7 countries may not enter the U.S. This is partially true, but it will be handled on a case-by-case basis, according to CBS News:

          “Senior administration officials told CBS News Saturday that for permanent American residents — those holding green cards — from the listed countries, their readmittance to the U.S. will be done on a “case by case exemption process.”

          Not saying it is a good policy, just that it isn’t as widely reported.

          • “Pete Rose was banned from baseball.” “Ban, without qualifications, means a ban without limits”

            In that case, there would be no need for the phrase “lifetime ban,” a phrase which you yourself use on this blog several times, including at least twice in connection with Pete Rose. You might have some argument here about linguistics, but your argument that it’s an ethics issues is groundless. You’ve based it on your contention that that the media was trying to deceive people by using the word “ban” in a way that is completely ordinary, and which no one, including you, believes implies permanence.

    • It strikes me that the term “suspension” is meaningful because it includes the time period and therefore a preset end. The term “ban” seems to carry a connotation that no preset end is defined and therefore requires an equal act to undo the ban…

      Both involve the compelled ending of some action sure, but one has a set duration, the other is indefinite.

  2. Chris

    Jack, I was really hoping that you’d take on the ethics of the order head-on, not just the media coverage of it. The Syrian refugee crisis is one of the defining ethical issues of our time.

  3. Chris Marschner

    Jack

    I am concerned that the proliferation of protests erupting nationally could lead to widespread insurrection. There does not seem to be any concern for understanding of the facts. Even the pundits from Fox keep calling it a Muslim ban and NO journalist has dissected the order during their programs. I find it difficult to believe these protests are spontaneous.

    Our MD comptroller Peter Franchot weighed in on Facebook calling the EO unconstitutional. Senator Schumer gave a tearful speech saying how un-American the moratorium is. The danger is that people who hate Trump will follow these polemicists blindly.

    I no longer fear Islamic terrorists, I fear the anarchists who have found a group of ill informed idealists who will be used as cannon fodder for those who do wish to uphold the Constitution.

    • fattymoon

      Some of you gonna take issue, but I’m ready to get out there again. The Occupy revolution failed. We really need this one (hope it’s coming) to succeed.
      View story at Medium.com

      Apologies to all in advance.

    • That’s a great reason to oppose the protests and protesters even when one agrees with their position. The Left and the media is pushing a system of heads we win, tales you lose. Any policies that aren’t there policies justify defying the elected government and the rule of law. That’s tyranny. I detest Trump, but if it comes to supporting him or these totalitarians, the choice is easy.

  4. Don Slavik

    From the horse’s mouth (or ass): http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/rudy-giuliani-trump-tasked-craft-muslim-ban-article-1.2958588
    The intent was to create a Muslim ban.
    Also visit law.marquette.edu for the position taken by a conservative law school that this E.O. violates federal statutes, the Constitution and international treatises.
    So Jack, I respectfully disagree with your position.

    • 1. Come on. So Rudy says, on a talk show, that Donald asked about a “Muslim ban”, but that it had to do with danger, not Muslims. As you know, that’s hearsay of the worst kind: a person cannot say what another person thought, said or said he did for the purpose of proving the truth of the assertion. we don’t know what Trump meant—and this is the sloppiest speaker alive anyway—and we don’t even know what Rudy meant, for Rudy has been a taco short of a combination plate for a while now. (I also think Rudy breached the attorney ethics rules by telling the interviewer anything.) All we know is what the order says it is, and what it is. It does not target all Muslim states or even most Muslim states, so it is not aimed at “Muslims.” It targets hotbeds of Islamic terrorism. Now I know our last President pretended that Islam had nothing to do with that terrorism, but the fact is that it does.

      2. I haven’t examined the real merits and deficits of the order, just the fake ones pushed by the media. But I’m certain Marquette is the absolute, irrefutable authority on the subject….

      • UPDATE: Here is GW Law Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley’s quick read on the Constitutional issues. I know he’s not from Marquette, but still, he has a national reputation, has been used by both parties as an expert, is unusually fair, and I have found his opinions to be reliable. He wrote…

        I think that this order is a mistake and contradicts our values. However, I do not agree with some of my colleagues at GW and other law schools that the order is clearly unconstitutional. Courts are not supposed to rule on the merits of such laws but their legality. I think that the existing precedent favors Trump.

        First, this is not a religious ban. When it was first discussed on the campaign, it was described as a ban on Muslims. This is not a religious ban. It certainly can be opposed as having that effect but there are a wide array of Muslim countries not covered by the ban and would not be impacted by the restrictions. A court cannot in my view treat this order as carrying out a religious ban as it is currently written. (Trump’s comments that he wants to prioritize Christians could raise more compelling arguments of religious discrimination).

        Second, the law largely suspends entry pending the creation of new vetting procedures. That is based on a national security determination made by the President. Courts have generally deferred to such judgments. A president’s authority is at its zenith on our borders. Hillary Clinton herself campaigned on carefully vetting refugees (though she favors increasing such entries). In a November 2015 national security speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton said “So yes, we do need to be vigilant in screening and vetting any refugees from Syria, guided by the best judgment of our security professionals in close coordination with our allies and partners.”

        Finally, there is precedent for limited entry from particular countries going back to some of the earliest periods in this country. The earlier immigration laws include the 1875 Page Act which focused on Asian immigrants and those believes to be engaged in prostitution or considered convicts in their native countries. Then there was the infamous 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Then there were other measures limiting immigration from particular areas like the 1906 “Gentleman’s Agreement” (Japanese aliens) and the or the 1917 Immigration Act (“Asiatic Barred Zone”). In 1921 and 1924, Congress passed the “Quota Acts” limiting entry from disfavored countries. of nations from whom no further immigrants would be accepted. In every case, immigration policy continued to develop as a series of widening, discriminatory exclusions. It was not until 1965 that we broke from our long and troubling history is such discrimination. However, The 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act contains section, 212(f) that gives sweeping authority on the exclusion of certain aliens:

        Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

        Even President Jimmy Carter used such authority. Executive Order 12172 involves an order to force 50,000 Iranian students living in the United States report to an immigration office and face possible deportation. Thousands were deported. Indeed, President Obama repeatedly claimed sweeping executive authority over such national security and immigration policies. As recently as 2016, the Obama Administration opposed courts even ruling on issues of executive power on immigration, insisting that “complex debates over immigration policy that the Constitution reserves to the political Branches of the National Government.” Democratic members supported those arguments, including many who filed in support of the executive power.

        None of this means that I personally support this action. I do not. However, one’s personal views should not influence one’s constitutional analysis in such a case. There are grounds to challenge the order and they are not frivolous. However, the precedent supports President Trump.

        The key is evaluating the order without letting one’s feelings about the policy or Trump get in the way. Oddly, this seems to be difficult for many people.

      • Don Slavik

        The most peaceful and intelligent man I ever met and got to know well was a devout Muslim. You can’t link the religion to violence unless you link Christianity to the white supremacist violence in the US, which until last year killed twice as many US citizens since 9/11 as Muslims.

        Jack, while Rudy is a taco short, the president is a whole taco bowl short of a meal. The EO is creating anguish for the innocent. You may want to write about the ethics of calling it a “ban on Muslims” but if those involved in writing it say that was the purpose, there’s nothing unethical reporting that is what they said. And they did.

        I hope you would agree that having an intent to ban persons based upon their religious beliefs is unethical, and illegal. To say nothing about it being immoral and un-Christian (Sermon on the Mount).

        • Michael Ejercito

          How can white supremacist violence be linked to Christianity any more than violence arising from the Troubles in Ireland?

          Why doee it matter if the ban is un-Christian?

        • 1. Your friend is irrelevant, and the argument that Isalm itself is not implicated in its most radical followers is intellectually dishonest. Yes, the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades implicated Christianity. Luckily, that religion has grown up. I’ rather amazed that you would stoop to that futile argument, frankly.

          2. “You may want to write about the ethics of calling it a “ban on Muslims” but if those involved in writing it say that was the purpose, there’s nothing unethical reporting that is what they said. And they did.” I addressed this, Don. You have no evidence. I have the words of the order, which doesn’t say anything about Muslims. Turley’s argument on this score is the same as mine, and it will prevail. The EO has unfortunate effects and causes pain for some? That’s what most laws do. That is not an argument that the EO is unethical.

          3. The law doesn’t ban a religions, so it’s a moot point. I am open minded regarding whether it would be wrong to ban a dangerous cult from coming here. The right to practice one’s religion in the US does not extend to those who aren’t citizens of the country and aren’t living here. If a religion/cult dictates conduct, and that conduct presents a danger to US citizens, I would argue that practitioners could—and should— be banned from immigrating here. I’m not aware of a SCOTUS case that says otherwise. Morally, it would be wrong TO allow such a cult into the US. The question is, not raised by this EO, is Islam such a cult?

          • Don Slavik

            The purpose of the EO by its authors is to ban a religious group. It violates the Equal Protection clause, the Federal statute on point with regards to emigration, and the international treatises adopted here regarding refugees. It prohibits those who are dual citizens from practicing their religion. Enough said. We are all more in danger as a result of this. It is immoral and at least in the minds of millions of Americans, (far more than than those that cast their lot with him) unethical and despicable. This President (elected per the Electoral College and not the poplular vote, which I accept as the law of the land) is a pathological liar (too many factual statements to repeat here, let’s just leave “I will produce my tax returns if I run (2012)” as one of many examples) such that nothing he says now or in the future can be accepted as factual. We are in a crisis. When the Republicans accept that they have been conned by this P.T. Barnum, will should do their job and save our democracy. I disagree with many, if not most of the Republican policies, but they are far more ethical and moral than what is sitting on Penn. Ave. now.

            • “This President (elected per the Electoral College and not the poplular vote, which I accept as the law of the land) is a pathological liar”

              Would only be a slightly more valid argument if any of the candidates won the popular vote, but none did. Precisely an occasion that we need the Electoral college. And even if someone else did, our system isn’t set up that way, thank the Founders.

              Also, was the other option somehow not a pathological liar?

              I really don’t even know what argument you are trying to make here…

            • Then you need to read up on the plenary powers doctrine in regards to immigration.

            • Mike

              Don, are you suggesting that the Equal Protection Clause applies to non-citizens residing in other countries? Seriously?

  5. Rick M.

    Ah…another campaign promise fullfilled – at least in some limited fashion. I have no issue with it. None. This is not a “forever” situation, but a limited one. I will give it Trump’s reset time of what? Three months? I will forgo any comments that I may paint with a broad brush regarding my experiences within Muslim nations. I don’t want the potential messy Fatwa to deal with.

  6. Phlinn

    Iran was covered in the Obama era law. Syria is called out in the EO by name, but it’s the only one.

  7. crella

    “To be fair to CNN, it did note, if without sufficient emphasis, that Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen were all named in a 2016 law concerning immigration visas as “countries of concern.”

    From what I’ve been reading, it seems the original law is from December 2015 (partially in reaction to the San Bernardino shootings) , and Sudan, Somalia and Yemen were added to the list in 2016.

  8. Christopher Henley

    Obama example is a different circumstance: one country, in which we had troops, after a credible threat was establablished. Current instance is part of a general anti-terrorism policy, justified by rhetoric about 9/11, though targeting countries different from those from which the 9/11 actors came. Many conservatives think it a counter-productive policy, and Trump has lashed out at them, but that fact runs counter to your preferred narrative that all problems stem from Progressives, Democrats, MSM, or Obama and is therefore not factored into your analysis; certainly not emphasized. Turley’s point, by the way, implies that different conclusions about the wisdom or constitutionality of the EO can be thoughtfully arrived at; not that everyone with a different conclusion than yours is a dunce, unethical, a hack, etc, etc.

    • Huh? Turley’s post has nothing to do with mine, as it about the Constitutionality of the act, and not the news media. Hacks are those who hide the ball and deliberately manipulate the facts to reach a desired conclusion. Turley doesn’t do that, and neither do I.

      Your comment is on the hacky side, however. Why Obama chose to halt immigration and refugees from a Middle East country, or labeled them places of concern, is not germane to its precedentiary value. The point is that the policy is not some kind of deranged Hitlerian assault on the Constitution and American values, and that it is material information when reporting on the order itself—which it is. How about dealing with the post and the topic at hand? There are no conclusions in the post that are not 100% true: the news media did not tell the whole story, misled in its reports, and deliberately omitted similar and related policy moves by Obama, a major one of which it didn’t bother to report

      I get it Chris: as long as a news report supports the team, you think it’s great. But that’s not ethics and its’ not journalism, and thus obviously not ethical journalism. THAT is partisan hackery.

      Democracy is not served by it, and the ends-justifies the means philosophy it expresses. I keep writing the equivalent of Professor Josephson’s paragraph at the end: oppose Trump on the merits, for there is plenty of ammunition, but using lies, hysteria, fearmongering and propaganda will be opposed here every time, no matter who is the author.

      • … and not using sane, calm criticism of Trump further enables him as you ‘awaken’ and drive more and more Americans into the Trump camp just because they dislike unfair play.

  9. Spartan

    Turn on the TV. Trump has called this “a very strict ban” and he said it is “working out very nicely.” He did say, however, that it is not a Muslim ban, you know, just a ban from Certain Muslim majority countries.

    So, do you want to retract this commentary? Or, do you think that we should give Trump the benefit of the doubt again?

    • Trump uses language sloppily, and we know that. No, that doesn’t change a thing. It’s not a ban, and the terms of the order he signed are quite explicitly a suspension or a moratorium. He meant strict 4 month ban. I don’t care what he said. Obama suggested in an October speech that he considered illegal aliens citizens. Well, his nation’s laws don’t, and his misspeaking doesn’t change them, does it? Obama said we could keep out health care plans, but the law didn’t. The law is what matters. Nice game: if the words of the President undermine the argument, point to the law; if the law doesn’t fit the attacks, use the careless statements. Got it. Four years of that junk ahead.

      • Spartan

        I this the one where Obama was referring to “children” of illegal aliens who were born here? I spent hours correcting people on FB about that one, because the media clipped the speech to appear that way. However, if there is another one out there, I’d be happy to read it.

        As for the “ban,” everyone, including Trump and his spokespeople are referring to it as such, but feel free to beat this drum.

        • Chris Marschner

          Spartan, I listened to the original statement and referred back to the transcript. He said if you are here you are a citizen and can vote. The statement was in response to a very clear question from the young interviewer about the undocumented’ s fears.

        • The drum that how people characterize their actions isn’t dispositive of what their actions really are? Sure. I’ll beat THAT drum forever.

          As for the quote, it was a horribly convoluted answer to an even worse question:

          RODRIGUEZ: Many of the millennials, Dreamers, undocumented citizens — and I call them citizens because they contribute to this country — are fearful of voting. So if I vote, will immigration know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?

          OBAMA: Not true. And the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself. And there is not a situation where the voting rolls somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, et cetera. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential in terms of who you voted for. If you have a family member who maybe is undocumented, then you have an even greater reason to vote.

          I don’t believe that Obama meant to say that illegals should vote; on the other hand, confirmation bias works. Anyone who wanted to hear that, could do so easily. And this guy, unlike Trump, is supposed to be able to express himself. He’s accountable for how his words are understood.

  10. Race baiting.

    http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/brad-wilmouth/2017/01/29/ex-msnbcs-jebreal-blows-fellow-cnn-guest-over-trump-white

    And if the ban was motivated by white supremacism, why leave out Indonesia? Or India? Or Nigeria? Or the Philippines?

  11. Tippy Scales

    I’ve never been more ashamed to be part of the mainstream news media.

    This is one of those instances where people really need honest reporting, because there very well may be issues at play which deserve the ire of ethical people. The problem is, we’re not getting honest reporting; we’re getting out-and-out hysteria.

    I follow several fellow reporters on Twitter and have them as Facebook friends, and most of them aren’t even trying to maintain a pretense of objectivity. I don’t know about other media outlets, but mine has a strict policy against publicly stating opinions about political issues on social media. While some might argue such a policy restricts free speech, independent of such a rule, I think it’s a good idea for reporters to refrain from taking public stances for or against issues they may cover. When I write a story, nobody should be able to tell where I stand on the issue.

    Unfortunately, most of my uber-liberal colleagues are completely melting down over this. I’m not even seeing an effort to report the the fact that millions of Americans don’t think this EO is such a bad idea.

  12. Tippy Scales

    I had to read this Factcheck.org piece twice, because their logic is so utterly flawed, I wasn’t certain I was interpreting it right. Turns out, I was…

    http://www.factcheck.org/2017/01/trumps-faulty-refugee-policy-comparison/

    The author claims that any comparison between Trump’s recent EO and what Obama’s 2011 suspension of Iraqi refugees is “faulty,” because Obama’s ban only involved one country in response to a specific threat.

    How ridiculous. That doesn’t render the comparison “faulty.” The issues the left/media are raising apply to the actions by both Obama and Trump, irrespective of how many countries are involved, or the reasons the suspensions were implemented.

    The questions and issues being focused on with the Trump EO are: Whether or not barring people from entering the country is really what America stands for; the outrage over non-terrorist families and government contractors who helped the U.S. during wartime being turned away; and complaints about painting certain groups of people with a broad brush. Why are these not also questions to be asked about what Obama did? Just because his suspension only involved one country in response to a specific threat, it doesn’t mean those same questions don’t apply.

    If Trump’s policy is racist and un-American because he’s temporarily suspending people from 7 countries identified as possible threats by the Obama administration, then logic suggests Obama’s policy was similarly racist and un-American.

    Good luck waiting for the partisan national media to point that out, though.

    • Chris

      Tippi, thanks for posting that.

      I agree that fact check is flawed. The Washington Post’s is much better, and much more convincing:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/29/trumps-facile-claim-that-his-refugee-policy-is-similar-to-obama-in-2011/?utm_term=.3f9731973e28&wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

      For some reason, Fact Check relies too much on that one ABC News article that mentions Obama “stopping” Iraqi refugee requests. But as the Washington Post explains, there’s a reason ABC News was the only source to say that at the time: because that’s not what happened.

      There was not a single month when our country did not accept some Iraqi refugees during the six-month time frame of Obama’s order. The refugee process was slowed down during that time while vetting procedures were improved, but we still took Iraqi refugees during that time.

      FactCheck.org really should have emphasized this; in fact, they should have opened with it. They sort of allude to it near the end, but they don’t make it nearly clear enough.

      But they are correct that this is very different from Trump’s temporary ban. It wasn’t a ban at all, but a slowdown.

      I do think that even without that information, FactCheck still raises some important differences. Trump’s EO is much broader, applying to seven different countries, with no evidence that any of them have recently been involved in any terror plots in the US; Obama’s was in response to a specific plot from Iraq. Obama also went in knowing exactly what part of the vetting procedures needs to be improved; Trump has no idea, and anyone who believes that he or his crack team will be able to improve the vetting process is a gullible fool. What’s going to happen is that Trump will say that there’s no way to vet refugees or immigrants from those countries, and the bans will be extended into permanence. I’d bet money on it.

      But no, Obama didn’t ban Iraqi refugees for any period of time; ABC News got it wrong. Iraqi refugees came in every month during the six-month period of Obama’s EO, though at a much slower rate. This did cause problems for some of our allies and translators there, but it was not the same as Trump’s blanket ban.

  13. carcarwhite

    Hi Jack,

    I shared this article on facebook, and someone posted this for me to consider…

    What would you say? It it true? I’m so new to all this stuff I have no clue how to reply… would LOVE your input if possible.

    http://www.vox.com/world/2017/1/31/14444862/obama-refugee-ban-2011

    Thank you in advance!

    • I’d say its basically sophistry. Trump pointed to the Obama delay in processing Iraqi immigrants as precedent, and it is precedent. Trump said it was similar, and there are sufficient similarities to justify that statement. The Vox piece is pretty desperate, I’d say. Vox:

      “Obama’s Iraqi visa policy in 2011 did not ban Iraqis from entering the country.”

      Neither does Trump’s. Trump’s EO similarly pauses and delays the process until the US feels secure about the vetting process from an area of concern. Obama’s “sloooowed way down the process” for six months, and Trumps halted it for three months with ane eye to having it running better for the next three and beyond. For a refugee whose processing was held up an additional four months under Obama’s order, there might be no difference at all as far as impact goes, compared to Trump’s. This is a semantic argument, and intellectually dishonest, almost Clintonian.Obama’s immigration policy did not treat people with passports from the seven countries as unusually dangerous terrorism threats. And Obama’s policies never approached anything like the breadth, cynicism, and incompetence of Trump’s executive order. The point is that nobody complained at all about Obama’s, and the same people who shrugged this off are pretending Trump’s order is a complete reversal of all prior US policy and direct delivery from Satan.

      2.”Obama’s immigration policy did not treat people with passports from the seven countries as unusually dangerous terrorism threats.” The number of countries is irrelevant. We already know that Obama was in denial over Islamic terrorism, since he refused to admit it existed. The comparison is that when Obama decided that an unstable nation posed a risk, he delayed immigration. The number relates to scale only. I assume that if Obama;s order had affected 5 countries and Trump’s 7, Vox would similarly argue: “See? They are completely different!”

      3. “And Obama’s policies never approached anything like the breadth, cynicism, and incompetence of Trump’s executive order.” Desperation. “Cynicism” is Vox’s invention: there’s nothing cynical about the conclusion that allowing in immigrants from failed states full of terrorists is maybe a bad idea. “Breadth” is the previous argument: you can’t use it twice. Finally, the fact that a measure was incompetently executed is irrelevant to the virtues of the order itself, which is the topic at hand. Unless Vox wants to agree that Obamacare should be judged according to its original drafting and rollout.

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