By favoring Christians in Muslim majority countries, we have put a religious test on America’s immigration policy. It is a Muslim ban; no matter how its supporters spin it.
I could go on as a counterterrorism and national security expert: Given the international response, there is little likelihood this has made us safer and, if anything, it has made us less safe by inflaming the religious war. It is a disgrace that we are excluding those who have, of all things, assisted our military and counterterrorism efforts.
After a day of confusion and images of detainees at airports, as if on cue President Trump said later “We were totally prepared. It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports. You see it all over. It’s working out very nicely. . . “
If this is prepared, then someone should get fired.
By all accounts, the entire plan was contrived and written in the White House without inter-agency or legal review. As of writing, no formal border guidance has been issued to line personnel or the airports. The language of the executive order was not vetted or reviewed properly through the agencies who are now forced to figure out what it actually means.
In one instance, a provision is cited in the executive order that has the wrong number for the statute, a shocking typo at best for a presidential declaration (it is 8 USC 1202, not 8 USC 1222). At the very least, the fact that the order did not have a carve-out for those who have assisted the US in our war efforts as interpreters is either extreme negligence or extreme cruelty.
Confused yet? The Trump team likes to call themselves disruptive and action-oriented. There is a fine line between disruptive and incompetent. Again, even assuming that the order is good policy, the lack of focus on process or consequences is hardly worthy of a president who claimed that his business skills made him qualified. A system of inter-agency review is in place — across administrations — to ensure this chaos doesn’t happen.
This lack of clarity for hundreds of thousands of people means that the pressure to implement a confusing directive is falling on agents on the ground — border and customs agents — who should not be put in that position. They are not qualified to do so and it is resulting in varied enforcement actions, including reports that green card holders are being detained.
There is no learning on the job in matters of national security. That is why a national security transition is so essential and why the failed Trump transition made so many anxious. But there is something more disconcerting here.
The Trump team has placed this mayhem on itself, has created a crisis where there should be none. It isn’t as if it’s September 12, 2001. We have suffered no jolt to the system. So even assuming that the order is necessary (a concession I make just for the sake of argument), President Trump is responsible for a self-inflicted wound to our system and nation.
Disruptive? Maybe. But some might just call this incompetence. And, given that lives of the innocent and young are involved, the word cruel also comes to mind.