President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on travel restrictions has been given the all-clear by the Supreme Court in a vote of 7 to 2. The complaints raised by lower courts regarding the travel ban have (for now) been dismissed and the restrictions can go into full effect. More arguments will be heard on this issue, but the Supreme Court believes all will be finally settled by June.
The restriction impact eight countries: Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Essentially travel from these countries is limited to those who already possess visas for the U.S. or can prove that they have close ties that require entry.
This has been one of the biggest challenges of President Trump’s first year in office. The travel ban has been portrayed by the media as a “Muslim Ban,” which has, in turn, been picked up by protestors. The reality is that even when executed fully, 85% of the world’s Muslim population is not effected; it impacts less than 15% of the world’s Muslim population who may wishow to come to America.
The idea that it is aimed at Muslims (as is being promoted by all major news networks) is disingenuous at best. Venezuela’s Muslim population is far less than half a percent, North Koreas even less than that.
A DHS spokesman said regarding the court’s decision that, “We are pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to allow us to fulfill this most vital mission performed by any sovereign nation. DHS will continue to fully implement the President’s robust and Constitutional counterterrorism agenda in accordance with the law.”
This travel ban should not be conflated with the wider process of immigration reform being undertaken by the Trump Administration. Mainstream pundits have attempted on numerous occasions to mix illegal immigration, national security concerns, refugee programs, and law and order programs into one single issue.
The travel restrictions are a security measure, not an immigration measure.
With Friday’s announcement that the U.S. is pulling out of an immigration compact signed by Barack Obama, America reasserted its role in controlling who can legally enter the country. Under the U.N program, the U.S would not have been able to set its own “quotas,” but would have had to take a mandated percentage. This is a sovereignty issue.
Ensuring that those who enter the country illegally and commit crimes on U.S. soil (often) against U.S. citizens is a Law and Order issue.
Making restrictions on visa issuance based on being able to actually collect relevant data, thus being able to protect citizens of the U.S. is a security issue.
The media wishes to conflate these to present a narrative that does not, in fact, exist. While all of these issues do involve foreign nationals coming to America, legally or illegally, each has its own moral, legal and security implications.
The vast majority of the world’s population are “people of color,” with non-white populations growing and white populations in decline. With that in mind, those who define the world by race or ethnicity will always have the “race card” to play.
There is also the religious bigotry attack, ie. “Muslim ban.” Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world. It is projected to surpass Christianity for the number one spot by 2070. The only travel ban or immigration restrictions that could be characterized as a “Muslim ban” would be a complete ban on ALL travel or immigration.
These are merely distractions from the real and serious issues of security, immigration, law and order.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.