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Revised executive order bans travelers from six countries from getting new visas (washingtonpost.com)
66 points by Garbage on Mar 6, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 97 comments



I don't see the point of these orders.

Muslim immigrants commit fewer crimes than natives.

[1] http://www.nber.org/papers/w13229.pdf

[2] https://www.cato.org/blog/immigration-crime-what-research-sa...


Trump promised in his campaign that he would ban Muslim immigration, because radical Islamic terror. Someone apparently got through to Trump that a Muslim ban wouldn't pass constitutional muster, so the ban was "tailored" as an emergency ban for the purposes of terrorism.

If you look at the mass casualty incidents since 9/11, only at best ~50% of them were instigated by immigrants, let alone Muslim immigrants. A leaked DHS report apparently concludes that even most of those immigrants who did commit terrorism were radicalized post-entry, although this should have been the reasonable assumption of anyone who cast a cursory glance at the evidence.

The exclusion of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Pakistan, and now Iraq, as well as the inclusion of Iran on the list (Iran's support of terrorism is pretty much limited to proxies whose targets are limited to Middle Eastern governments (including Israel) and have no inclination to carry out attacks in the US or Europe) indicate that the set of targets is chosen less for which countries are liable to produce terrorists and more for which countries the US government doesn't like.

As I've pointed out in the past, the number of terrorists who might be stopped by a travel ban like this is probably 0 and maybe as high as 2. The number of people for whom this would be the tipping point in their radicalization is probably between 0 and 10. This may create more terrorism than it catches.


"the number of terrorists who might be stopped by a travel ban like this is probably 0 and maybe as high as 2"

Thing is, we'll probably never know. Will that information ever be shared with the public? How many people were prevented from entering the US over the past 8 years for "ties to terrorist organizations?" I have no idea.

It happened in early 2016 to Indian students.

http://fusion.net/story/272029/indian-students-denied-entry-...

Happened in mid 2016 to Syrian refugees.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/2016/08/09/substantial...

A reported 2015 rise in Muslims being denied entry

http://www.dlgvisablog.com/blog/2015/12/29/us-increasingly-d...

But without news reports or blog articles, how are we to ever know that X number of travelers were denied entry? We can say it's probably between 0-2, but there's no evidence to back that up and I don't know how we even begin to search for the evidence other than heavily redacted FOIA requests.


I just hope students who have come for a legit purpose of studying don't get caught up in the mess.

But I've been really giving thought to what I can do as an average citizen to make the slightest change in public policy.


I hate to dash your hopes, but... Trump promised a Muslim ban. That's what his followers want. He's doing what he can to deliver.

Students, family members, and others following the rules are the targets. The goal is to increase hassle, expense, uncertainty and humiliation for Certain Visitors in order to have less of them.


They already have. That's why so many universities were outspoken about the ban, and many states filed amici briefs on behalf of the state universities.


In 2002 many of my classmates from Middle Eastern countries were not able to return after going home for the summer. This is going to create a similar issue for many students.


50%? That's not such a small number, imho.


But it's 50% of an already-tiny number.

(Edit: That's assuming OP meant terrorist incidents. MCIs are so common that immigrants would be implicated in <1% of them.)


Yeah, but it's still 50%. One out of two...


1) It occupies the news cycle while other freedoms are eroded quietly.

2) Eventually people will be tired of outrage in general, at which point the executive branch can do whatever it wants.


Currently racism/religion-ism has a greater emotional impact than environment, clean water etc... This gives the media and people a bone to chew on, and something to be satisfied about with each revision, feeling like they are accomplishing something while the Trump administration is gutting the US environmental framework with little opposition.


It's not a zero-sum game. By all means raise attention to the environmental issues but being against this does not mean there's no attention being paid to other issues.


Pointing out facts is like bringing a toothpick to a sword fight.



As you know.

Trump has has ended reality; words have no meaning now, and numbers doesn't have meaning either.


The point is to have someone to point to and blame them for issues. It doesn't matter that the data doesn't actually prove anything here. He's just rallying people behind that idea that America is under attack and everyone should be on alert and ready to accept whatever the government does in order to protect "freedom".


Care to explain the massive increase in crime in Germany then?

[1] https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7470/germany-migrants-cri...


> Muslim immigrants commit fewer crimes than natives.

That's a non-sequitur, as this order isn't targeted at "Muslim immigrants". Furthermore, the categories "Muslim immigrants" and "natives" both contain substructure. That means that a simple comparison between the two can be misleading.

Please note I'm merely pointing out a flaw in your argument, and not taking a side on whether the order is a good or bad idea.


> as this order isn't targeted at "Muslim immigrants"

Not sure whether you're acting naive to prove a point, but the countries represented aren't majority Muslim by accident - they were picked for a specific reason. Not to mention, Trump himself alluded to a "Muslim Ban" with a similar structure before, as did multiple aides. He's run on a platform of xenophobia. It's not a stretch whatsoever to make that point - everyone understands why the poster is labelling it that way.

The implication that the person that posted is injecting ideology into that comment is ironic, since willfully choosing to ignore the political context of the ban is just as bad.

> the categories "Muslim immigrants" and "natives" both contain substructure

Yes, all language does.

>not taking a side on whether the order is a good or bad idea

You're taking a side by turning a blind eye to the ideological ramifications and context of the ban. "I'm just playing devil's advocate" is always problematic because it purports that injecting something dangerous like this into the conversation "doesn't count".


Rudy Giuliani is on record saying that the original clusterfuck order came about when Trump came to him and asked him how to do the Muslim ban legally.

The people doing this think it qualifies, and this is a case where we should probably believe them.


Legally, the President has the power to just say 'I hereby suspend all immigration from Indonesia and Pakistan'. That would ban 25% of the World's Muslims in one go. Add India, Bangladesh and Nigeria and he'd be over 50%.

But he didn't...

Instead, he or his team chose to use a list of seven high-risk or non-cooperative nations drawn-up by the DHS over a year ago for the purpose of suspending Visa-waiver travel. That affected ~20% of the Word's Muslim population.


Indeed. So here are the facts:

1. Trump talked a lot about banning Muslims from the US.

2. Giuliani said the first travel ban was what came out of Trump asking him to implement the "Muslim ban" legally.

3. Neither the first one nor this new one is a very effective Muslim ban.

What are we to conclude from these facts?

We could conclude that, despite the insistence of Trump that he was going to implement such a ban, and a Trump insider saying that the first order was their first attempt at it, that order was not in fact intended as a Muslim ban.

Or we could conclude that it was intended as a Muslim ban, and the people responsible either don't understand that Muslims and Arabs aren't the same thing, understand but don't care because it's pandering to their supporters, or understand and see it only a first step in a process of getting a full ban in place.

Given how everyone in this circus has behaved so far, my money is firmly on door #2.


> Not sure whether you're acting naive to prove a point, but the countries represented aren't majority Muslim by accident - they were picked for a specific reason.

My point was that there are 50 Muslim-majority countries. So if you want to argue against the ban, argue that visitors / immigrants from those countries commit less crime than "natives", rather than arguing that Muslim immigrants in general commit less crime than natives.

>> the categories "Muslim immigrants" and "natives" both contain substructure > Yes, all language does.

The point here being that different "native" demographic groups commit crimes at different rates; and I'm guessing it's likely that different "Muslim" immigration groups commit crimes at different rates. e.g. approximately 1% of Chechen immigrants to the USA are terrorist bombers.


> the countries represented aren't majority Muslim by accident - they were picked for a specific reason

These are are the countries where the US is fighting wars against ISIS, and Iran.

I don't support the ban, but I can see the point of being careful about accepting immigrants from areas with active enemy armies.


I believe the GP was trying to point out that the visa suspension was targeted at forms of travel other than immigration. I believe the logic is that immigration requirements are already strict enough, but procedures to get a travel visa needed to be strengthened/reviewed.

I point this out strictly as a response to your reading of the GP's post, not as support of the travel ban.


> as this order isn't targeted at "Muslim immigrants".

The particular language of this order may not be. But we've learned to take Trump "seriously, not literally."

In that light, the above quote is a falsehood.


Reason and facts hold no sway over xenophobic ideology. It's purpose is to rally power around the persecution of a scapegoat, just like an archaic religion.


Politics, fear-mongering, "terrorism", promises to his supporters during the campaign.


These kinds of reactions (the order) are rarely based on logic and sound reasoning.


[flagged]


> Muslims make up 10% of the population, and 70% of prison inmates, not to mention most of the crime

Substitute "black" for Muslim and this is the basis of a great deal of racist beliefs and policies in the US. The important question isn't who is in prison, and who is committing crimes, but why. Being Muslim (or Black) doesn't naturally incline someone to be a criminal. Something in the society at large is leading to either higher rates of conviction for the same crimes (the case in the US, harsher punishments for black offenders than whites for the same crimes), or an economic situation that leaves criminal activity as the only apparent or more economically beneficial choice for members of these groups.


And I covered this in my post (last paragraph). It doesn't matter though - witness the rise of ultra-right populism in continental Europe, Brexit and Trump.

And crime IS mostly an economic phenomenon, poor expected outcomes in life lead to high crime rates. But there is a link to high migration rates as well (if the economy can't absorb the new workforce quick enough, it leads to problems).

The problem is, the moral dilemma ceases to matter when a majority of the population (you can call them dumb, racist, whatever, but they're part of society) votes in someone to 'solve' the problem. There is a point where feelings and morality don't matter as much as practicality.


> Being Muslim (or Black) doesn't naturally incline someone to be a criminal.

How do you know this? It might. I'd bet being Muslim inclines somebody to not be a criminal for some types of crimes, in fact, so I wouldn't categorically dismiss the idea that religion affects criminality.

Also as has been well-discussed here, crime rate differences are still present in non-economic crimes and your attempts to explain the situation fall flat. It's a story you're making up, badly, and to talk about this stuff with that kind of certainty is a bad look. The truth is, we don't know.


> How do you know this? It might.

And based on an "it might" it's fine to just assign blame and pass judgement?

> I'd bet being Muslim inclines somebody to not be a criminal for some types of crimes, in fact, so I wouldn't categorically dismiss the idea that religion affects criminality.

In fact? By what facts?


> And based on an "it might" it's fine to just assign blame and pass judgement?

What on Earth are you talking about?

> In fact? By what facts?

The fact there is regarding the question of what bet I'd make. "In fact" is a common figure of speech.


If society can't keep up with immigration and changing demographics you're bound to have problems. In France, people with French last names on their CVs are more likely to get called in for job interviews. Similarly in the US Nationalism has reared its head because society has intrinsic speed limits on liberal progressiveness. To what degree do we need to factor that into our trade and immigration policies if progressive policies move so fast that they start to tear apart society? (Open question -- not an opinion)


"In France, people with French last names on their CVs are more likely to get called in for job interviews. "

It's the same in the U.S. if you have a "Black" sounding name, you are less likely to be called in for an interview. I never understood why Black parents would give their children "ethnic" names knowing that it makes it harder in society. Even if their were only a 10% difference, why handicap your children?

And yes I'm Black.


You assert the existence of intrinsic sped limits with no evidence, as if immigration were a) an independent factor to be turned up and down at will without any need to review other aspects of social policy and b) as if France had negotiated the terms of its colonial role with the countries it saw fit to colonize.

To put it bluntly, a country doesn't get to colonize other other countries and then complain if people from those countries take the claims of civilizational superiority at face value and come to experience it for themselves. Colonization drastically and permanently altered the destiny of those countries, and unwillingness to accommodate people from those places displays a lack of responsibility.


Morality doesn't matter when the whims of the populace ultimately get to drive policy.

The fact is, integrating immigrants IS an economic issue, there IS a limit, and if we fail, there WILL be backlash.


That was why I made a pragmatic argument, which you ignored, as well as a moral one. You have not offered any evidence for your claim about limits and so my participation in this discussion is at an end, because I refuse to waste time arguing with people whose idea of debate is to simply repeat their premises.


What pragmatic argument? You just asked for evidence there's a limit.

Anyhow, there's a plethora of studies that have been done on the economic impacts of migration, expected outcomes to immigrants measuring different factors (wages, employment, and subjective measures of assimilation), and so on. It's basically an entire field in itself.

What is the real 'limit'? The answer is when the negative societal effects become greater than the positive ones, and the host population decides to limit immigration.

The rest of your post was a moral argument, which again, doesn't matter when the population has decided they're at the 'limit'.


a)


It sure would have helped if the US hadn't caused the refugee crisis in the first place with our unjust and unjustified wars. We knew even in 2003 that going into Iraq would create a power vacuum that would unleash Muslim radicals. We knew that before going in, still went in, and now have the audacity to refuse the refugees that we created. The Iraq war was not a progressive policy; it was not a sane policy. Claiming that progressive policies led to this situation is delusional.


rebellious youth who can't integrate into a fairly closed culture

'a fairly closed culture' in this case being a racist framework that says they're not French enough and chooses to lean on archaic work rules and so on to enforce that barrier.


Thinking like that would be a mistake.

The quality of immigrants that US and Europe attract are vastly different. US attracts mostly high quality skilled labor (doctors, tech workers etc.) On the other hand, EU countries often attract the worst sort (people attracted to EU welfare, unsorted refugees, unskilled labor etc.) Naturally, the lower class folk are unlikelier to adjust to life in a new country, and so they commit more crime. This does NOT happen in the US. It is therefore unreasonable to compare US immigration to EU immigration.

Case in point: immigration from Pakistan. Pakistanis in the UK (as an example of a European country) tend to be poor and are highly represented in crime. Pakistanis in the US, on the other hand, have an average income $10000 HIGHER than the average US income. There is also no evidence to suggest they are involved in crime at a rate remotely comparable to the general population.


I don't care for your Donald-Trump style evidence-free arguments. Perhaps if you backed them up with a) statistics and b) an acknowledgement of European countries' record as colonial powers, which gives people of the former colonies an overwhelming moral right to move to the country that disrupted the development of their country of origin.


How is that a Trump style argument? Poorer people commit more crime on average than richer people? Isn't that true across the spectrum?


Did you try reading the other words in my comment? It's written quite plainly.


> It is therefore unreasonable to compare US immigration to EU immigration.

Unreasonable, but it doesn't matter when society and politicians use European problems to justify policies at home.


You can't take this out of the context that France had many North African colonies, and has had a large underclass of people from those countries for many decades. Poverty is highly correlated with imprisonment.

I can't find a non-paywalled link ATM (the ridiculous politicization of this issue has made it nearly impossible to get signal out of the noise), but I've seen studies that show that if you control for poverty, the link essentially disappears.


> I can't find a non-paywalled link ATM (the ridiculous politicization of this issue has made it nearly impossible to get signal out of the noise), but I've seen studies that show that if you control for poverty, the link essentially disappears.

Can you guarantee that a large, rapid influx of immigrants won't lead to a poor underclass? Because that's as much of an issue as wherever they came from...


The current rate of immigration to the US is 0.3% of its population per year. Put another way, for every 3,180 Americans, they have to somehow integrate 1 new person a year into their culture.

In no way is that a "large, rapid" influx. This whole issue is just political football and scare-mongering.


That's assuming uniform distribution. What actually happens is immigrants go where other immigrants go, affecting some communities far more than others.

You're right, the US has a low rate of immigration and should be able to handle it, but that's not necessarily the case.

Also, 0.3% per year amounts to nearly 8% over one generation, not including differences in fertility between immigrant groups and born Americans.


I'm very left, and I'm quite alright with measures like regional quotas designed to avoid "clumping" - which I believe would address most of your concern there.

And you're right about the 8%, but since only about 10% of immigrants to the US are Muslim, really we're talking about 0.8%, over something like 25 to 30 years. That is so completely disproportionate to the hysteria over immigration (literally the number one issue for Trump voters, IIRC) I can't help but conclude that it's a purposeful scare campaign.

Also, it's not often that any immigrant group is the boogeyman for more than a generation. It used to be the Irish, then the Polish, then the Puerto Ricans, and so on. A huge fuss is raised, and then they assimilate, at least in the US.


I was under the impression that executive power was only expected to be used when gridlock occurs in The Senate and/or Congress?

Is he just allowed to keep issuing more orders every day forever or rather shouldn't the states be very concerned by this centralised power grab? I'm equally concerned by Obama or Bush using these powers, it's not just about Trump.


No, the President can't act just because of gridlock, they have to have a clear authority for each action they take.

In the case of immigration, quite a lot of power rests with the president, so the president making changes to immigration policy is nothing unusual.


I have no idea if this is true, but would it not be better to get a well thought through bill through both houses instead? I know it might seem mad, but isn't the point of them to make sure the proper checks and balances are included, not just journalists or leftwing concerns like mine but more right wing ideas too?

We seem to have lost our way being able to give and take and discuss meaningfully our goals and how America could develop a better immigration policy while trying to minimise unfairness on individuals.

Just a thought.


Trump is used to being in charge of privately held companies with limited oversight. All his life, he decides what he wants done, tells his people to do it, and then they do.

I'm not sure if he even grasps the concept of being "president" but still having to work with 535 other people he did not choose and may not like in order to get stuff done. If he does grasp it, he certainly shows no desire to actually follow it.


Sure that'd be great.

I don't take this order at face value though. I think it is a political move rather than an attempt to do any good for the country. So being better than that is a pretty damn low bar.


I'm not saying I buy the justification or that it's valid, but the stated purpose of this order is to put a temporary short-term ban in place while the existing vetting procedures can be evaluated. As such, taking the time for a well thought out bill to be discussed in both houses doesn't really make sense.


The reason that Bush, Obama and Trump get away with it is that congress has been paralyzed for going on 15 years now. They could put a stop to it anytime they want by actually doing their jobs and legislating.


No, from Bush 2 onwards the power of the executive office has expanded greatly. Obama used executive power quite liberally, for example the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), opening up stem cell research, defining large national parks, increasing federal contractor minimum wages.

Whether EOs are a good thing or a bad thing generally depends on whether you support the president that issued them. In the face of an obstructionist congress, I supported Obama's EOs, but the problem with them is that they are much more fragile, as they can be more easily reversed by the next administration.


The President is like the CEO of the executive branch, and usually executive orders are about practical matters the leadership of any organization handles.

But it can also be things like "don't enforce this law" or "always deny these visa applications", where you have to worry about the President making law instead of following it.


Yes and yes. It is expected that everyone would be concerned and he would be removed from power. But it has become accepted enough that there is not enough outrage to do so only because of abuse of executive orders.


The law does grant the President wide latitude over immigration matters, so the executive branch is totally within its legal rights to issue orders of this variety.

Politically it's another question. Advocates on immigration reform have pointed out for years that the immigration laws are both impractical and unjust, and there's majority agreement about this. but every effort at reform has been stymied by a nativist minority that is opposed to any immigration, which bloc was successfully (albeit unexpectedly) marshaled into a winning majority under the US' rather arcane Electoral College system. As we now see, the political impetus is to a highly militaristic central state, abandoning as many administrative functions as possible and dropping those into the laps of the several states where they will either be burdensome or ignored.


Has anyone asked the White House why Egypt and Saudi Arabia are not on that list?


This is the question we all should ask. Saudi Arabia is known as terrorism exporter. Why is US administration (both Republicans and Democrats) so reluctant to go after SA?


We all know the answer. Saudi Arabia is the chief stabilizer of oil price (and therefore the petrodollar) in the world. Therefore, Saudi Arabia can export all the Wahabism it wants.


Related: "We'll see you in court, 2.0" written by David Cole of the ACLU.

You might also be interested in Cole's paper from 2003: "Are Foreign Nationals Entitled to the Same Constitutional Rights As Citizens?" http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?ar...


I'm kinda disappoint that the ban is based on country and not whether the individual has negative views towards the Kafir or the USA.


As a practical exercise, try coming up with a system that could determine individual views as you suggest, that:

1) isn't trivially avoidable ("are you now, or have you ever been, a Militant Islamist?"), and

2) doesn't rely on extending the surveillance state further.


The current visa application system? (That's a large part of the reason why there is so much uproar over the ban: the current visa application process in the US already does a good job of keeping out terrorists)


Islam does allow you to lie to advance the cause. I don't know if it would allow you to eat a ham sandwich. (PS: I'm not serious)


Go ahead and be serious. That might work decently well. We could upgrade it and cover more ground: eat a bacon cheeseburger to get a visa, and then another upon arrival in the USA. If somebody doesn't mind this too much, they are probably harmless.


Current immigration forms already ask applicants if they are spies. I always found that part hilarious, as if spies don't know how to lie and conceal their pasts?


maybe they need teaching about the Quran in a patriotic way.


According to the leaked dhs report, immigrants don't tend to get radicalized until they've been in the us for years, or their children do. So screening or vetting wouldn't make a significant difference.


agreed, they usually come from a secular muslim country and are radicalised when they start going to mosque.

maybe creating secular activities for them other than mosque would help them.


I agree. To add more to your point, it would be more worthwhile if the authority and the Muslim community make sure there's no hate preacher in the mosques. As an ex-Muslim living in North America, I find it absolutely ridiculous that some hate preachers, who have been banned in their own countries, are traveling in the Western countries and spreading hatred.


How would accurately assess that though?

"Do you hate America?"

"No"

"K, let him in"


More people in the USA die from chocking on improperly chewed food than they do from terrorists.

This is getting ridiculous!!!


Couldn't find any reference to the name of the countries in this article, although NYT mentions "Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen".

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/travel-ban-mu...


Basically all the previous countries except Iraq.

The Pentagon raised concerns that the previous ban on Iraq hindered many Iraqi citizens (translators etc) who were actually helping the US.


I guess the Pentagon gets what the pentagon wants, meanwhile tons of Iranian students won't be able to continue their research in the USA...


Does it really matter anymore? US border guards seem to be refusing to let in anyone that fits in the category: brown, accent or Muslim. All three of those you may as well not even try which I say is the no so subtle message.

Even today a story on CBC news a woman born in Canada, speaks English denied entry told she needed an immigrant visa not just a visa which is weird an immigrant visa. Her two white friends passed through with no trouble. http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/montreal/canadian-denied-...


And the story literally says she was first stopped in December.

US border guards have always been assholes, I got detained recently because the border guards are, to put it mildly, idiots (they thought visiting family in the US for the weekend was strange). Remember at one point Canadians used to be able to visit without a passport; that ended long ago.

I mean, my solution is to avoid the US whenever possible (never take layovers there, avoid travelling there unless someone really, really wants me to visit), but it is rather annoying to be treated like shit by a country where we're supposed to be able to enter without problems. I've never experienced the same issues travelling to the EU.


Yes stopped because of a "random check" as stated in the article.

She was told to fill out a form her fingerprints were taken then told there was a computer problem and she couldn't enter the US. They came back the next day and were allowed in.

But then the latest crossing attempt the border guards asked her why she was stopped in December?! It was the border guards who did it.

It's like in grade school a bully grabs your hand and pushes it into your face asking "Why are you hitting yourself?!"


Here's a concern I don't hear expressed much in all the reporting: The enormous expense in all this.

The expense of changes without demonstrable nor explained benefit.

The expense of all the CBP officers spending all this time and energy screening and rejecting entrants who manifest NO demonstrable security risk nor connections to persons and organizations of real concern.

People ARE talking about Trump spending millions every weekend to go down to Florida. Itself, as I see it, an egocentric, inconsiderate act of self-indulgence. All the more so in the face of his campaign rhetoric.

I guess I could also mention the outsided security expenditures for Trump Tower.

And here we have the Administration and CBP spending enormous amounts of time and money on a policy that as yet has no direct, rational explanation.

It may and probably does have explanation in domestic and international political posturing and manouvering -- one of debatable merit. Effect and merit that SHOULD be better identified, reported, analyzed, and discussed.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE COST OF ALL THIS???!!!

Once again, "the Right" complains while vastly increasing what they complain about.

We'll end up needing another Obama to hopefully clean this up -- or, as to some extent in his case, simply to balance the books.

P.S. Today's reporting features a natural Canadian citizen (born and raised there) of Asian heritage that gives her darker skin, being stopped by CBP at the start of a day trip to Vermont, interviewed, and ultimately turned back and told she will have to apply for a visa.

Ok, I'm for cost-effective government. What was the bill for this? I'm not particularly in favor of paying for this entirely ineffective action -- on the face of it, entirely unnecessary.

Is THIS why I have to give up my ACA health insurance policy? (No subsidy for me, by the way; just, FINALLY, a mandate that allows this older, independent worker to purchase a health insurance policy. Along with laws, such as "no pre-existing conditions", that level the playing field for me vis a vis corporate workers with employer-provided insurance.)

I'm following the money, and it smells.


Well, that is an improvement, as it means our border guards won't get the chance to disgrace the nation by mistreating travelers.


Say what you will, but Trump is a master manipulator. Session's on Thursday, wiretapping on Saturday, new ban on Monday all being reported on by fake news.

We couldn't keep up with this even if we tried. We'd need individual and autonomous teams dedicated to triaging and resolve each of these issues. Who even knows whats really going on in the background.


cue the trumpettes lining up to babble about how it's necessary.

even if you think this policy is necessary, this is still a shitty policy because it doesn't go far enough to satisfy its stated aims in addition to being morally repugnant. you shouldn't support this policy because of how flawed it is.

there are plenty of countries that are incubators of islamic terrorism that aren't on the ban. if the goal is to prevent islamic terrorists from abroad committing terror acts here, that's still entirely possible. osama bin laden wouldn't be caught by this ban or the previous one because he was a saudi. think about that for a minute.

and now the border patrol / tsa will be even more inspired to make life hell for the law abiding people who are coming here or returning here from abroad from countries not mentioned on the ban.

this is killing the usa's tourism industry. this is preventing highly educated people from abroad from coming here to let us make use of their talents. this is an embarrassment.

anyways, i challenge any supporters of this policy to defend it here in public. you won't last long.


> cue the trumpettes lining up to babble

Partisan rants are not welcome on HN. We ban users that do this and have warned you before, so please stop. Even if your underlying views are right, you're damaging the site.

It looks like you have been using HN primarily for political argument. That's not what HN is for; we eventually ban accounts that do that too. HN exists to gratify intellectual curiosity, and accounts that post comments need to comment primarily in that spirit—otherwise we'd soon become a very different place. Fortunately you've posted that sort of comment as well, so it's a matter of adjusting dials.


Why is driving a privilege, yet visiting the USA is seen by some as a human right for all of our species?

What claim does a random foreigner have on the USA that ranks their desire to visit above the commander in chief's desire for them not to visit, in other words why is the desire of the elected president believed by some to rank lower than the desire of any random non-citizen human visitor? It seems an incredibly peculiar ranking.

Why are some countries allowed to control who visits them, and some are not? Why is the USA one of the countries that is not allowed to have any border controls? Is that, pragmatically, successful?

Why is the battle almost exclusively being portrayed as it being immoral and unethical for only the USA to have any border control at all of any form, rather than the somewhat more likely and seemingly easier to convince specifics of this individual border control ruling being wrong?

If this regulation or law needs to be repealed because it can be "proven" wrong (where proving amounts to yelling really intimidatingly loud) then why is only this regulation or law being targeted as opposed to NORML or the IRS or a bazillion other laws and regulations which are both more likely to be nonsense and hurting more people?


> Why is the battle almost exclusively being portrayed as it being immoral and unethical for only the USA to have any border control at all of any form, rather than the somewhat more likely and seemingly easier to convince specifics of this individual border control ruling being wrong?

Context is everything. The US is already regarded as having a well-working, effective screening process for visa and refugee applications. This means that it's hard to find any justification for drastic, emergency-sounding restrictions. Particularly since Trump was well-known for espousing a religious test ("Muslim ban") on the campaign trail, Giuliani says this is what he suggested when asked how to implement the Muslim ban, and the government hasn't offered any evidence for why the additions are necessitated for national security, it is rather easy to assume that this is an attempt to ban Muslims. And imposing a religious test runs afoul of the Constitution, even if there were good reasons for it.


Firstly, the US already has intensive screening for immigrants and does reject a lot of people from entering the country. So Trump and other like minded folks saying that the US has open or porous borders is false. The motivation for that claim could chalked down to old fashioned xenophobia rather than any concern for security.

On the issue of privilege vs human rights, the US is populated by immigrants and many of them who argue against bans like this see themselves in new immigrants. The Trump/Bannon/Miller argument is that since immigrants are stealing jobs and are weakening the value system of the US, we need to cut back on immigration. That sends a very strong signal to present immigrants that their presence is harming the country. The outrage against Trump stems from this kind of signalling from his administration.


I'll play along.

> Why is driving a privilege, yet visiting the USA is seen by some as a human right for all of our species?

The comparison makes no sense. A non-non-sequitur question would be the same comparison about guns, given that guns are essential for the livelihood of far fewer people than cars, it would be comparing deadly objects to deadly objects instead of humans, and legal standards would actually match up in a slightly more sensical way that might produce an actual answer[1].

But to ignore the multiple ways it makes no sense, an answer would look something like, because piloting deadly weapons with a modicum of skill is something many people find positive, whereas travel in the abstract is considered by many people a fundamental human right.

> What claim does a random foreigner have on the USA that ranks their desire to visit above the commander in chief's desire for them not to visit

The president's status as "commander in chief" means nothing in a civilian context, and I see nothing in the constitution about Presidential Whim being a meaningful legal basis - can you point to the SCOTUS case establishing "do what thou wilt shall be the the whole of the law"?

> Why are some countries allowed to control who visits them, and some are not?

I have no idea what you're talking about, or what it has to do with Muslim bans in the US. If you can point to someone of relevance making that claim in relation to the Muslim bans, please do share.

> Why is the battle almost exclusively being portrayed as it being immoral and unethical for only the USA to have any border control at all of any form

This is what a red herring looks like.

> why is only this regulation or law being targeted as opposed to NORML

I dunno, perhaps because NORML is not a sitting president currently banning Muslims? Perhaps because people see different relevance to their lives between different bad laws? Perhaps because this is happening now, we want less of it, and the best way to get less of something is to nip in in the bud? Perhaps because many people see banning people based on religion abhorrent to the character of their country in ways that bad taxation doesn't?

How about I flip that around- when there are so many other absurd laws, is this the only one you want to defend? Why aren't you throwing your rhetorical skills at some other battle?

[1] The answer, of course, is the constitution.


Why is driving a privilege, yet visiting the USA is seen by some as a human right for all of our species?

Driving involves heavy metallic objects moving at high speed. The US makes it harder to drive than to own and operate guns, which isn't logical either. Migration is a human right for all people.

What claim does a random foreigner have on the USA that ranks their desire to visit above the commander in chief's desire for them not to visit, in other words why is the desire of the elected president believed by some to rank lower than the desire of any random non-citizen human visitor? It seems an incredibly peculiar ranking.

Because it's a bullshit comparison, as you know. But let's get right to the core of the issue: on the one hand, the US holds itself out as the beacon of liberty and democracy, takes great pride in its ability to take people in and turn them into liberty-minded democratic Republicans, and is so proud of this that it likes to be symbolized by Lady Liberty. On the other hand, it's also a country that was founded in part on slavery, and which has a large demographic that still depends on the economic logic of slavery for commercial gain. Pick one.

Why are some countries allowed to control who visits them, and some are not? Why is the USA one of the countries that is not allowed to have any border controls? Is that, pragmatically, successful?

Quit with the talk of 'not allowed'. Many people within the US wish to change the existing system because they consider it pragmatically flawed. It's not some external agency being unfair to the US and telling it that it can't, it's a majority of the American people saying that existing policy is no good and should be reformed.

Yes, not having border controls is pragmatically successful. That's why you don't have to show a passport when traveling between US states. Do you honestly think the US economy would be as strong and resilient as it is without free movement across its internal borders? If there were passport controls and tariffs between states? No, the federal government was set up precisely to prevent that outcome.

The fact is that economic growth takes place most easily when there is relatively free movement of both capital and labor. As regards relationships with other countries, the US has made it super easy for capital to move all around the world in search of opportunities, and the same should apply to labor. Making it easy for capital and difficult for labor has led to the formation of a huge underclass, which is nothing but slavery by a new name.

Why is the battle almost exclusively being portrayed as it being immoral and unethical for only the USA to have any border control at all of any form, rather than the somewhat more likely and seemingly easier to convince specifics of this individual border control ruling being wrong?

It isn't, spare me the false-premise arguments.

If this regulation or law needs to be repealed because it can be "proven" wrong (where proving amounts to yelling really intimidatingly loud) then why is only this regulation or law being targeted as opposed to NORML or the IRS or a bazillion other laws and regulations which are both more likely to be nonsense and hurting more people?

A bullshit argument whose only rhetorical purpose is to poison the well of debate by implying bad faith on the part of your interlocutors. Actually, people are opposing all kinds of laws all the time, and there is no ranking of the different issues that says immigration is more important than ending the drug war or reforming taxation or whatever. You chose to come into a thread about immigration and ask 'why is immigration so important.' Nobody was making the argument that immigration has to be addressed before this or that other issue until you came along to punch that particular straw man.

Not only are the issues you mention, and many others, the subject of their own hot debates, they're also the site of a great deal of political activism by voters who are exercised about those issues. One significant difference with immigration from many other issues is that you have a population which can vote making life-changing decisions about another population that can't vote. Similar to penal policy and restoring the voting rights of felons, massive asymmetries in equity and political representation create incentives for abuse; having once created an underclass, some see their political benefits in the maintenance, perpetuation, and even expansion of the same. The privatization of incarceration for profit is an outstanding example of this.




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