Friday afternoon POTUS signed an Executive Order (“EO”) banning immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries–Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. NBC is reporting that POTUS did not vet the order with the U.S. State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense or the Department of Justice.  In the noise around this EO, I thought it might be helpful to understand what is, and what is not, so troubling about POTUS’s actions.

  1.  Don’t worry, I got this. POTUS’s failure to confer with experts within his administration or to properly prepare for the rollout of the EO demonstrates a carelessness and lack of appreciation for the complexities of government.
  2. Squirrel!  The response from the right that the EO is not a “Muslim ban” is accurate, but unhelpful. The ban does not apply to all Muslims. It is limited to only the seven nations mentioned above. However, no terrorists have originated from those countries. Instead, confirmed terrorists hailed from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Kuwait, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon. The EO has no effect on immigrants from these nations.
  3. The appearance of impropriety. Again, POTUS’s failure to deal with his conflict of interests, causes concern. POTUS has business interests in Muslim majority countries that have a history of terrorism but are not covered by the ban–especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
  4. Just kidding, you’re not really in.  It applies to legal residents with no Due Process. The EO would block Green Card holders from re-entering the country. I’m not aware of any time since the Japanese internment that the U.S. has blocked the entry of legal residents into the country.
  5. Thanks for the help, but …. It blocks Muslims who have aided America abroad, such as Iraqi interpreters, from entering the U.S. safely.
  6. I’m late, I’m late for a very important date.  There was no pressing need to use an EO. Immigration and border control could have been taken up in a more thoughtful manner by a GOP led Congress sympathetic to those concerns. This was a childish demonstration of “power” for the media by the POTUS.
  7. Some pigs are more equal than other pigs…Trump’s order grants Christians favored status, which is forbidden by the First Amendment.

It is important not to lose the meat of these issues in the media driven red herring of whether this is a “Muslim Ban.” It does not matter what we call it. It matters that we have a thoughtful, rational discussion about why it was an impulsive, unnecessary and ineffective method of protecting our borders.