After a chaotic weekend where America and the world watched in horror as the Trump administration made good on their campaign promise to institute a “Muslim ban” on travel to the United States, former President Obama spoke out about the happenings. Obama’s statement made two major points, that the travel ban is not a good idea and that the protests were a good idea. Here is his complete statement as reported by Sam Stein;
Obama statement on the protests of Trump's Executive Order pic.twitter.com/EnLodhaG0T
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) January 30, 2017
Clearly, the former President does not support the actions that the new administration took and does support the protests against the travel ban.
Supporters of the ban point to a few things that when one steps back, seem to contradict either one another or statements made by Trump during the campaign. First, they say it is not a “Muslim ban.” Unfortunately, adviser Rudy Giuliani clearly asked for such a ban, according to the Washington Post;
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro asked Giuliani whether the ban had anything to do with religion.
“How did the president decide the seven countries?” she asked. “Okay, talk to me.”
“I’ll tell you the whole history of it,” Giuliani responded eagerly. “So when [Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’ “
Giuliani said he assembled a “whole group of other very expert lawyers on this,” including former U.S. attorney general Michael Mukasey, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Tex.) and Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.).
Second, the language in the order itself favors Christians as being exempt from the ban. When this goes to court, both factors might play against the administration in their attempt to defend the ban.
Another note, Republican Charlie Dent (Pa Congressman) stepped up to “speak out” as many Americans did. The problem with Dent’s objections, however, was not that he spoke out on the ban itself, it was that he primarily focused on Christians that were known to constituents in his district were being held in Philadelphia. Dent never said much of anything about the 100+ others being held, just the Christians. Furthermore, Dent’s office says that he is working to help the Christian family, but no word on helping anyone else.
As Ari Melber, an attorney and MSNBC contributor said, when this goes to court, courts can go beyond the actual words and see the intent. And to many, the intent is to stop Muslims, while letting Christians through. That might be tough for the administration to defend and claim the ban wasn’t at all religiously based.
Beyond legal issues, critics of the ban point out that people who helped our cause, such as Iraqi translators who worked intimately with US forces in Iraq and were promised entry to the US for their service were detained and/or turned away. This, along with jihadi groups boasting how the executive order was a “victory” that would be used as a recruiting tool has many experts pointing out this action won’t make us more safe, but more dangerous.
Iraqi translators who have worked alongside US troops are among those caught up in the travel ban. Two former translators said they saw the move as a betrayal, and said family members had warned them not to trust the US government.
Trump’s move bars valid visa holders from travelling to the US for an initial 90 days, leaving in limbo hundreds of Iraqis, among them 30-year-old Omar, who had been through an extensive vetting process.
“I have worked with the US army since 2003 and had never thought about leaving the country,” he said. “My work was good, the salary was good, until a while ago a former Jaish al-Mahdi [Shia militia] detainee who became a leader in some militia started looking for me because he thought I was a spy for the Americans.
“Without the help of some good people I would have been gone. They warned me, so I escaped my neighbourhood, but the next morning a man with same name as me was kidnapped. I was almost kidnapped two months ago but I was able to run away … This is why I decided to emigrate.”
The US has taken in more than 70,000 former Iraqi employees, contractors and family members since the 2003 invasion, and the immigration programme has surged since US troops returned to Iraq to fight isis in late 2014.
The Guardian article also stated;
Isis has welcomed the US travel ban, with several of its members claiming on social media over the weekend that it would pit US-based Muslims against the Trump administration and fuel discord across the Islamic world.
On top of all this, the ban has the Trump administration scrambling to justify the ban, pointing to the Obama administration doing the same thing according to Trump Press Secretary, Sean Spicer — except they didn’t do “the exact same thing” according to many, including a report from USA Today;
The Obama administration’s actions were limited to one country and in response to a specific threat — the potential for other Iraqi refugees to take advantage of a flaw in the screening process.
By contrast, Trump ordered a far wider ban — albeit also temporary — without identifying a specific threat.
President Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 27 that bars Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. indefinitely and bars all other refugees for 120 days, and keeps out visitors for 90 days from seven predominately Muslim countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Initially, as ABC News reported, administration officials said the ban also applied to U.S. green card holders re-entering the United States from those seven countries, though they could get a waiver to re-enter. But two days after Trump signed the executive order, administration officials said green card holders, who are permanent residents, would be admitted on a case-by-case basis after additional security screening.
It is also interesting to note that Trump campaigned on everything being a disaster as far as Obama was concerned. Now, they are claiming to do things “just like Obama” even thought they aren’t. The web is getting very tangled in jsut the first weeks of Trump’s tenure.
Americans, not just democrats or liberals, do seem to be joining together to fight these measures. Something President Obama supports and pledges to continue to support. Check out this report on his statement and response from Congressman Andre Carson below;