Donald Trump’s Immigration Reform

In one of many Executive Orders signed by President Trump during his first week of office, the White House released the “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” Executive Order, banning nationals from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya from entering the United States. This includes Refugees fleeing the war in Syria. The Executive Order has sparked widespread protests in both the United States and around the world, while others have come out in support of the ban. What are your thoughts on this Immigration Ban? Do you think it is necessary to ensure the safety and protection of American citizens, or do you feel it is discriminatory, unconstitutional, and counter-productive? Let us know below.


  • Interesting comment by Alan Dershowitz on TV (I think Fox) last night: He doesn’t think he’s ever seen an order by a judge that is so vast in its geographic scope. He did not mean this as a compliment.

  • On your points about immigration — yes, “cry me a river” indeed. Very well put. I would only quibble a little with your final sentence: “Irrational, perhaps, but there it is.” Nope. Totally rational!

  • A very thoughtful essay, with much to think about. I will not disagree, but merely make two points:
    -The Constitution is over. Its principles governed our national life only as long as, on some level, we all accepted this governance. The Left has been attacking the Constitution for decades, with their “living document” nonsense. The Right has attacked its core principles in their own way, with the Patriot Act and the surveillance state. So, the Constitution has been casually destroyed by both sides. We are now a congeries of interest groups with no common reference.
    – You say we don’t understand the Other. I say you are wrong. My town is now half Mexican illegal- they have their own illegal networks, and casually ignore our laws. I am forced to compete with them on their own terms, to my disadvantage, since I am required to play by the rules. You must understand that this amounts to abandoning the rule of law.

    One minor point: Americans have spent the last fifteen years taking off their belts and shoes and having their crotches groped at airports. Their response to immigrants, “refugees”, or anybody else having problems when they travel is likely to be “cry me a river”. Irrational, perhaps, but there it is.

    • Thanks, RGATH. Some thoughts in return:

      > “We are now a congeries of interest groups with no common reference.”
      Yes, divided and splintered and thus easily manipulated and ruled. That’s why I keep urging we put the smaller issues aside and unite behind the big ones, which I tend to think are: a real democracy (money and rigging out of politics) and a fair economy — plus hopefully some of the “nice things” which all rich nations except us have: free or easily affordable healthcare and education for all. (“Free” simply means that money diverted from our income doesn’t go into CEO and billionaire oligarch pockets but into healthcare and education. It’s manifestly doable, as all other rich nations prove. We just need to allocate more sensibly.)
      > “You say we don’t understand the Other.”
      No. I say we write off the humanity of the other. It is one of the darkest sides of our human instincts. Think of how the Plains Indians were capturing and torturing each other. “The other” (historically the other tribe) is instinctually seen as a threat and undeserving of sympathy. We typically fail to have feelings for them other than revulsion and hate. Your town sounds very unusual, btw, and — the way you describe it (practically overrun by non-assimilating people of probably mostly low education) — you have a rare and understandable reason to be pissed off at undocumented Mexican immigrants.
      > “One minor point: Americans have spent…”
      Yes, indeed. And for all that grand show, this airport “security” is 95% ineffective (see, for example: Trump’s travel ban strikes me as another big show like this.

  • Some commentators here were thumping the Constitution and others pleading for safety from terrorism as a high priority. In part, I can agree (I definitely want us to do more for our safety), but I feel that some of us here are making this too simple for themselves:
    1.) In the Constitution, there are some rights specifically reserved for citizens, such as the right to a federal job and the right to vote. Other than that, the Constitution doesn’t apply to people, but rather the government and what it may or may not do. Thus what the government does to immigrants is the government’s decision, and if we – the people – who are supposed to oversee the government and be served by it (as well as constitutionally protected FROM it) let it run roughshod over humane principles where one group of people (in this case immigrants) is concerned, who will be next?
    2.) What really bothered me was that Green Card holders returning from travel were stopped from entering. Green Card holders are permanent residents. They have lived for many years as law-abiding, tax paying members of our society, and their home is now here, no longer abroad; and they may be only days away from becoming full citizens. To treat them as dubious, visiting foreigners just doesn’t strike me as correct. It amounts to evicting them from their homes and jobs (and families!!!) when they have done nothing wrong. There is a big difference between being cautious about letting people of dubious character enter the United States for the first time, and blocking from entry those who have already proven themselves as upstanding members of our society. This is the kind of elephant in the chinaware shop behavior which gives Trump and his supporters a bad name.
    3.) What is often overlooked by people when we are dealing with a minority is that the members of that minority are not only people of all kinds of personal merit, both good and bad, but community members, co-workers, even life-saving heroes in some cases, and very often family members of people OUTSIDE that minority! So, if you have no contact to immigrants, you can easily write them off as “the other”, i.e. that group of people which our instincts don’t regard as human and deserving of any justice or mercy. But what about your neighbor, an American citizen, who is married to one of these “non-humans”, who is the mother of his children…? What about those children if we rip their mother away because of the circumstances of her birth? With ill-considered or badly implemented acts like these, we not only violate the human rights of non-citizens but also the civil rights of citizens. Yes, we definitely need to protect ourselves from Islamist terrorists (as well as all other kinds of terrorists), but blanket bans which tear up law-abiding families go too far, and so does denying any ethnicity its humanity. We are better than this. Or, at least, we should be — especially considering the immigrant nation we have always been. Who among us is not an immigrant or descendant thereof?
    4.) We have criminals right here at home, living a lavish life in high places; who have brought Islamist terrorism down upon us through arms deals for big bribes; through destabilizing military actions in Muslim lands to take possession of oil fields or pipelines; through bombing untold numbers of civilians in Muslim lands; through blatantly supporting Israel and Saudi Arabia in their ravages of Muslim lands; and through abducting, detaining for countless years without due process (and torturing!) citizens of Muslim countries IN their own countries. These war criminals mutilated a bees nest, and now we are swatting anything that flies from that general direction, bees as well as butterflies, but leaving these men and women who committed gigantic war crimes, and who – unlike the banned travelers – have American citizenship, to enjoy their ill-gotten loot within the protection of our borders and their own security details. Why do we go after travelers most of whom are harmless and some of whom are even valued members of our society, but let the war criminals go unscathed, vote them into office, build them museums and libraries, stuff them with our tax dollars, and never hold THEM accountable? How dumb can we be?

    5.) Yes, we have a right to protect ourselves, and I want it done, but intelligently please.

    6.) It’s morally off when our country causes major refugee crises and then won’t accept any of the refugees, letting them flood Europe instead, the old countries from which most of our nation derives. Through European heads this must be going these days when they think of the United States: DR. FRANKENSTEIN: “What have I done?!? What have I brought into the world?!?”

    7.) The suspicion has arisen in some folks that what Trump is doing here is not so much trying to protect us but flying a test balloon to see how far he can go bending or breaking the law and Constitution and principles of human fairness. At the same time he did this, he decapitated the State Department, has the FBI and DHS feeding out of his hand, and has shown hostility towards the CIA. If there is something to this theory and he manages to tame, break up, or reform the CIA to no longer be a shadow government, apparently beyond the law both willing and able to tamper with our elections and assassinate our presidents (like it has practiced for so long abroad and may have done here, as well), I’ll applaud him. If this is just a personal power grab… then not so much.
    In conclusion, this matter isn’t quite as simple as some people put it.

    • President Trump has no need nor intent to break any laws. Obama followed the same techniques as Pres. Trump with NO outcry. I am totally satisfied that this President intends to follow the law as it stands and sign into Law new legislation to solve other even more serious problems
      Dr. Thomas E. Davis, Colonel, USA(Ret)

      • Correct — at least since the G.W.-Cheney regime, “our” presidents have been violating the U.S. constitution which they are sworn to uphold. The only thing worse is partisan citizens celebrating “their” guy from “their” party for it or else looking the other way. This goes for supporters of both gangs… pardon me… “political parties.”

      • I appreciate the praise, Alexis. Now, if you or anybody else recognizes a skill or talent there that might match the needs of a paid job or writing gigs out there, I am once again on the look-out… 😉 (it’s part of being a member of the precariat)

    • The Politicians, primarily the Democrats and numerous RINOS, and the leftist, socialist, progressive (NOT) REMOVED have put our Republic in a position comparable to 1775. That situation took one miserable Revolutionary War to set a few dictators,(A King and his Parliament) straight. President Trump is fighting an uphill battle against Tories here at home not unlike General Washington and the British Loyalists of the18th Century. We are all obliged to back this gift from Heaven, brave enough to take on the entrenched crooked, unpatriotic scum loyal to themselves, their political party, before getting down to their sworn duty to Protect and Defend our unique God-inspired Constitution. To all you naysayers out there; This IS OUR America, so, Love it, fight for it help our elected Leader or get the hell out of the way. Dr. Thomas E. Davis, Colonel, USA(Ret)

  • I am sympathetic to both sides on this issue. Two broad points:

    1) Our first priority as a nation–while safeguarding our Constitutional rights–is that of security. This is the first lens through which I view immigration, both legal and illegal. We must be able to scrutinize and vet every person who enters our country (as much as humanly possible). If this vetting requires a temporary ban, a border wall, or slowing down the process, so be it.

    2) Economically and culturally, I think immigration is a wonderful feature of our society and should be strongly encouraged (with assimilation also emphasized along the way). Once we better establish our security, let’s make sure that there are wide doors in that yuuge wall. Our country is bettered by multitudes of (properly vetted) immigrant peoples who view America as a beacon of liberty and hope.

    • I agree with the overall idea of both your points ALS, ensuring the security of the American people while preserving our constitutionally protected rights is indeed the job of the government and immigration is an essential part of our nation. I just don’t think that the immigration ban, refugee ban, and the wall are the way to make us safer or create a functional immigration system. I feel that these things are all just security theater, creating the illusion of tackling the problems without actually producing results. And if the immigration ban and refugee ban serve as recruiting material for ISIS and other terrorist groups they may in fact make our country less safe.

  • I think there are at least three issues here, all are interconnected but each warrant discussion.
    First there is the immigration ban, there may be valid reasons for restricting immigration from certain places and commenters above have pointed out that this was not the first time that immigration into the U.S. has been limited on the basis of nationality. But, there needs to be some clarification of why these countries, why not others? Is there credible intelligence that immigrants from these particular countries pose a threat? How did Trump’s business dealings with Saudi Arabia and other countries that are not on the list influence his decision not to include them?

    Second there is the refugee ban. Again, we need some more information here I think. Getting into the U.S. as a refugee is already very hard, it’s much easier to get a student visa, tourist visa, or even in some cases a work visa than to enter as a refugee or asylum seeker. Is there evidence that this is actually going to stop terrorists? What does it mean for our national character, identity, morals, and place in the global order if we are willing to turn our backs on people in need because we are afraid? In the case of both the refugee ban and the immigration ban I also think there needs to be some explicit legal clarification as to whether or not these orders are legally within the purview of the President.

    Third there is the fact that, as Senators McCain and Graham pointed out, this could actually end up being a recruiting tool for radical Islamic terrorists. Was this vetted by the intelligence community before Trump enacted it? How are we going to counteract the negative fallout from this? What is Trump prepared to do about other kinds of terrorism such as that committed by U.S. citizens who may be influenced by radical Islam or other radical organizations like white supremacist groups?

    Finally, there is the issue of the rollout. There is no question the implementation of this order was a complete fiasco. Trump and his team need to take accountability for that and take steps to assure us that future orders will not be carried out so chaotically.

  • Our President’s Executive order is, in its content, as American as Apple Pie and Ice Cream. Chuck the Shmuck Schumer’s crocodile tears are the fake reaction of a Democratic Party Huckster. Take a long hike to hell and fail to return Mr. Anti-American Schumer. This is neither time nor circumstance for more Bovine excrement Chucky boy nor for Political maneuvering. I used to respect the United States Senate but members of your ilk want to make me vomit. You conduct must be a violation of Senate Ethics as they are close to being criminal and certainly unsavory and false! Dr. Thomas E. Davis, Colonel, USA (Ret)

  • I could understand a temporary ban on Syrian refugees. Obama did the something similar in 2011 with refugees from Iraq. However, banning all immigrants from Syria and other Muslim countries? Come on! As much as I don’ t like Trump, I am pretty sure this a Steve Bannon executive order. This dude is DANGEROUS!

    Why not Saudi Arabia? Didn’t Congress voted a bill that would allow terror victims of the attacks on 09/11 to sue Saudi Arabia?

    Oh wait, Trump has hotels and resorts there …

    • We are dealing with a very serious issue in the Middle East. ISIS has already said that they will use refugees as a cover and cause harm to the West. I believe that the West has lost it’s ability to protect itself. The crazed reaction of the media and the left prove this. We are on the brink. The U.S. Government has an obligation to protect it’s citizens. No one from another country has Constitutional rights. What’s wrong with a pause to take a look at how we’re vetting people from other countries where terrorism is harbored? This issue is not about whether or not America is a “melting pot,” it’s about potential dangers in the real world. When nations do not control their borders, they cease to become sovereign countries,

      • You are voicing a lot of truisms that others are over looking. Not only did ISIS say they would use immigrants to get into western countries, they have already done so, just look at the Paris attacks etc over the last year using guns, trucks and such to kill westerners. As far as constitutional rights go, no immigrant has any constitutional rights in America. Constitutional rights are reserved for US citizens only. Being allowed to immigrate to America is a privilege not a right.

        • Does anyone have a source that they could post for ISIS saying they were planning on sneaking terrorists into the U.S. disguised as refugees? I don’t recall seeing that reported on anywhere and I think it would be very relevant to the debate if someone has a link to a source.

        • That is simply not true. The 14th Amendment states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

          Nor to deny to ANY PERSON within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Every person within the borders of the United States has equal protection under the law, not just citizens.

          Additionally, immigrants can become US citizens. Meaning someone can be both a US citizen and an immigrant. So, because of this, not only do immigrants have constitutional rights if they have become naturalized US citizens…but they also have constitutional rights prior to becoming US citizens. You’re literally just making stuff up.

          • Ditto. Case in point, kicking a returning permanent resident out of the country at the airport would rob him of his home, all his belongings there, and his job, and maybe family, when he (or she) has broken no law, lived a law-abiding and tax-paying life in the U.S., made a home here, maybe founded a family, made friends, grown roots, maybe even built a business creating jobs, etc., etc. How could that be considered due process or equal protection?

          • Meh. States like California, New York and Massachusetts have been denying their residents Second Amendment rights for decades. Now you’re crying about immigrants. Laughable.

    • Hey! Sad are you out of your mind? Our President did a portion of the right thing. We have neither an obligation nor do we have a duty to accept anybody from nations who have demonstrated a hate and an animosity toward us. It is OUR America, We have the right to choose who comes to live among us and the President is obliged to protect that which we have chosen through our laws. Read the Constitution, particularly Article II.
      Do you understand? Donald Trump is honoring the duty he sought and which we bestowed upon him on November 8, 2016. Dr. Thomas E. Davis, Colonel, USA (Ret)

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