Criticism of the Refugee Ban

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Recently President Trump issued a ban on travelers from seven countries – Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia. It also modified some other policies which suspended new refugee admissions for 120 days and capped the total number of refugees allowed into the country at 50,000. When asked for clarification on the matter, the administration stated it was about keeping the country safe from terror (source).

So, what’s really going on here?
The claim that this new order will protect us from terrorism is a bit overstated. Yes, a large number of terrorist attacks are conducted by Muslim extremists; the State Department cited ISIL and the Taliban as being responsible for 32% of all terrorist attacks in 2015. However, that violence is predominantly limited to the Middle East, some Pacific islands, and Nigeria. Indeed, there is more terrorism going on in India, Nigeria, and Egypt than in Syria, and Syria includes most of ISIL’s attacks. Furthermore, Afghanistan is a country with the second highest rate of terrorist violence, and it is also not on the list.

Another problem is that non-Muslims are more likely to commit terrorist acts in the U.S. than Muslims. Even by grossly overstated estimates, the highest level of terrorist violence against U.S. citizens by Muslim perpetrators is just under 10%. It might even be more fairly put at 2.5%. According to the link above, a person is more likely to be killed by an extremist advocating animal rights or protesting against war than by a Muslim terrorist. In fact, U.S. citizens are more in danger of catching lethal brain parasites than dying to a Muslim terrorist attack; the ban contains no information on curbing the travel of these parasites from abroad.

If this order is an attempt to protect the U.S. from terrorism, where are the facts which support that conclusion? Simply saying that there’s a terrorist in a country that might come here isn’t enough; casting a net that wide would mean we couldn’t allow any immigrants or refugees into our country. To say it’s tailored to violence is also misleading, because the list didn’t include India, Pakistan, Nigeria, or Afghanistan – just to name a few.

I don’t think this is a good way for a President to endear himself to the majority of Americans that don’t like him.
What this President and his supporters are failing to appreciate is that he is not desired by most Americans to be in office. His Presidency does not reflect a will of the people; it reflects a will of geography and other electoral stars which all had to be in alignment for him to get elected. The promises he made were to people only have majorities in smaller or rural areas. If he’s trying to make good on his promise to ban Muslims, he’s barking up the wrong tree.

That’s an unintended consequence which people might find good or bad, depending upon one’s point of view. I can’t think of a better way to galvanize people who support equality under the law than to treat people differently for no articulable reason. In short, signing this order is just another reason for people to vote for non-GOP candidates.

The conclusion.
This ban on countries makes no defensible sense, at least with the facts I was able to find. President Trump doesn’t seem to be off to a good start in his administration. While his actions might pander to the people that voted for him, it’s only doing harm in the eyes of the majority of people that didn’t want him there.

37 thoughts on “Criticism of the Refugee Ban

    • My biggest problem I’m seeing with the defense of this ban is that there are no facts being cited to support it. As it stands, there are going to be plenty of law suits over this.

      I went to law school too early. If I was graduating now, there’s probably enough litigation that I’d have a job waiting somewhere for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Bungling incompetence is how I would describe it… Not to mention the fact that the so-titled PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES failed to actually include the Number One Exporter of Terrorism to the United States: Saudi Arabia.

    Perhaps it’s time to see Trumps tax returns to see how much debt he owes to the Kingdom….

    Liked by 3 people

    • If Saudi Arabia didn’t have all that oil, I wonder what the world would look like today. I remember watching an episode of Frontline which argued that most extremist Islam is actually an offshoot of the very fundamental Islam which is predominant there. And then there are people in my country that says Christianity has to get more fundamental to combat this.

      The world is becoming a bizarre place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It isn’t just the oil, either. Saudi is the largest purchaser of U.S. weapons and our uncomfortable alliance with them gives our military a base of operations out of there.

        Strange bedfellows, indeed. I’m not entirely convinced that Trump’s business ties have anything to do with the reason they weren’t included. More likely the things you and I have mentioned. But his resistance to showing those tax returns leaves him open to all sorts of speculation.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    There is good information here. I think it is important for people to know and understand how little a chance there is they will be harmed in a terrorist action. The right has the entire country frightened and worried they will be attacked at any time, and are not safe anywhere. Thank you. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s not just that most Americans didn’t vote for him (or sat on their idle arses and didn’t vote), the rest of the world didn’t want him, because, like it or not, American presidents – or their actions – influence the rest of us.

    I clearly follow the wrong blogs. Not one supports Trump!

    Liked by 2 people

      • If I was a working class person with no job/low income … but I’m not, I’m a middle class two degree feminist (with no job/low income) who can’t bear him. But yeah, I can see the appeal to people who feel they are disenfranchised, have no vote, and are getting pissed on by the establishment. Trouble is, he’s no different. Just, worse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Truth of the matter is, I’m not that terribly liberal. I don’t mind so-called extreme vetting. But see my reply to the OP.

        I have no issue with our country putting it’s interests first, trying to increase job and economic opportunity, protecting it’s citizens, etc. But that’s not what this is about. It’s appealing to his base and using their baser nature to do so.

        I am a working class person. I want job growth, economic stability, reasonable healthcare, and the like. But I’m not willing to sell my soul to the devil for it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Fair comment, and I agree that all countries should do that, in my case, hence Brexit because Brits felt the EU was eroding British decision-making. No idea what the Brit thought or voted.

        I can’t work out if he’s not so stupid after all. He’s pretty PR savvy for his voter base.


      • I never thought he was stupid.

        Narcissistic? Dangerous? Authoritarian?

        All of the above.

        I can’t work out why a newly elected Republican President with a Republican controlled congress, who ran on a platform of strong negotiation skills, an ability to get negotiate with congress to get things done and bills passed, who criticized the former administration for his use of Executive Order, has jumped straight into office and is using Executive Order right and left without passing anything by congress, or even the departments that they affect.

        I can’t work out why his base loves his straight talk lies, simply because sounding like a gigantic blow-hard makes him sound strong and tough. What he’s doing IMHO is not just “America First”, it’s a giant middle finger to the rest of the world. There’s a way to diplomatically accomplish every bit of what he’s supposedly trying to accomplish without alienating everyone except Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin.


      • Didn’t you answer your own question with those three words? That’s why the plethora of EOs.

        I’m guessing the base gives not a shit about the rest of the world.

        One of the news articles I read today talked about his diet. Favourites: Lays crisps (even I like the EVOO ones), Doritos, KFC, McDonalds, bacon and egg if he is forced to eat breakfast. That, is shit hot PR. He may well be vegetarian and eat muesli with soya milk for breakfast but he is so going for that voting base. Either that or a heart attack.


      • Well, of course. He’s showing all that newly obtained power.

        I really do think he eats that crap. Either that or he’s on a carrot juice diet. Would explain the orange.

        He doesn’t give a shit about the rest of the world except, of course, where it benefits him.


    • It’s tough convincing a lot of U.S. citizens that their decisions affect more than just their own community. Some of that is intentional (in the case of some Trump supporters, in fact), but some of that is becoming unintentional. So many people are shouting that I’m meeting people who avoid this kind of stuff on purpose.

      At the least, we don’t have to live with our mistakes in this country forever. In two years, U.S. citizens can start the process of fixing the damage. It’s a small consolation, but right now it’s the only one I got.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My social media news feed is full up of people defending the ban. Not one has mentioned terrorist attacks but, rather, the rape and other crimes allegedly committed by refugee infiltrators in Europe.

    While I acknowledge that may be an issue there it’s a bit different than here. For one thing we already have extreme vetting on refugees or anyone else seeking to come here from many Middle Eastern/North African countries. The misleading bit is that the ban is on refugees for 90-120 days. The truth is, if they’ve applied for asylum, they’ve already been through a rigorous vetting procedure that has likely taken up to two years. If they can’t provide credentials and can’t be properly vetted they already aren’t allowed into our country.

    What this so-called ban also doesn’t account for, nor educate anyone not familiar with U.S. Immigration law about, it doesn’t matter what country you’re from, even after you’ve boarded a plane you can still be detained and turned back at Customs and Immigration if you don’t have every i dotted and every t crossed.

    We have natural boundaries which Europe does not. There’s an entire ocean between us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re pointing out a big concern of mine, here, in that the primary justification being touted is one that isn’t based on any fact I can find. If the existence of a risk is justification for such action, we’d need to overhaul our entire immigration and asylum system. We’d have to ban people from everywhere.

      A thought just struck me: this ban really smacks of a panicked reaction to an imagined danger. The implications of this is that imagined news stories and fear-mongering is now officially affecting U.S. foreign policy. If this is true, it makes fear speech way more dangerous to U.S. citizens than anything else we face right now.


      • I think Steve Bannon via Donald Trump is using the fears that their base have of these “dangerous” refugees entering the country on a whim and not being able to vet them to very great advantage.

        Make no mistake, and I’ve said this since Trump appointed Steve Bannon as Special Council, he’s driving this train with his White Nationalism. He can call it “just plain Nationalism” if he wants to, but we all know he’s gunning for the brown people.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My big concern there is how close he appears to be getting to the Kleptocrats in Russia to do all of this. Right now this is in the rumor stage (so it’s just an erosion of public confidence), but I’m incredibly interested in seeing reporting which finds out how much Russia is influencing the Trump Presidency.

        They invaded a fucking country, and only their nukes and large army stopped the rest of the world from hitting them back. To let him buy our government brings domestic concerns of money influencing politics to whole new heights.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed. I am ever so curious what Trump’s infatuation with Vladmir Putin truly is. The erosion in confidence over our elections is just the start. Trump and his team has already started touting their “alternative” facts(aka lies) and telling the media they need to “shut up”. Confidence is so eroded in the mainstream media that ordinary citizens don’t care that their being shushed. They don’t believe their reporting anyway.

        It is well ripe for the Trump/Bannon propaganda machine. Any of this sounding remotely familiar?


  5. What this President and his supporters are failing to appreciate are any facts at all. They have even coined a term for “alternative facts”, for lies they make up when they do not like the reality, that they sometimes have to face. They make their own “reality” based on their preconceptions, biases and prejudices and they seem to lack any ability none what so ever, to evaluate the reality around them. Why? How is this even possible, that so many have been alluded in such a fashion?

    We have similar nincompoops as your president and his supporters here in Finland and the rest of Europe too, look at Poland and Hungary. And not just in the Western world. For what else are ISIS, other than the symptom and victims of the very same sort of atavistic conservatism? It seems like the polarization between people who do appriciate reality at least to a degree and those who live in naive la-la-lands filled with fear, hate and dehumanization, has grown rapidly recently. How can we save our compatriots and other fellow human beings from such ignorance and darkness? I feel like I am at a loss for a method to turn the heads of those who have stepped on the path to darkness, or even to educate them just a little bit. It seems that as of lately it has become socially acceptable to choose your facts by personal preference, rather than by understanding how something can be evaluated to actually be a fact and something else not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mathematics! Opinions are one thing, but math is straightforward.
      Last year there were less than 200 terrorism related deaths in Europe; a continent with a population of 740 million people.
      Meanwhile in Africa (with a population of 1.2 billion), there were 2900 deaths in which **hippopotami** were involved. That happens every year in Africa.
      That means that even if terrorism deaths in Europe +triple, it’s still more likely that an African dies by hippopotamus than that an EU citizen dies from terrorism.
      And if anyone likes I’m happy to get into the complexities of risk factors and how there’s no such thing as zero risk 😀

      Liked by 3 people

      • I had a pet hippo but had to get rid of it. It made too much noise when I walked it down the stairs of my apartment building to do its business, and it kept attacking and killing Africans when it spotted them. Hippos have since been banned from my building.


      • Indeed. I have couple of examples of such mathematics myself. The moose regularly kill some Finns within a year. Not intentionally, though, but mostly in traffic accidents. The bear sometimes kills a Finn, and there is a bear attack in every couple of years, though most of these are not fatal, they still inflict serious injuries. The bear is not prone to attack a human being other than to protect itself or its cubs. The wolf has not killed a human being anywhere in the world in decades. It has not killed anyone in over a hundred years in Finland and even that incident was suspected to be by a dog-wolf. However, there is a prominent hysteria about wolves where people are demanding permits to kill just about any wolf sighted by humans. We have no more than 150 wolves, while we have more than 1000 bears and something like 77000 moose. Nobody is demanding the extermination of bears or the moose. Why? Because people are idiots? Because after people get scared of something they are no longer to be reasoned with? Or what?

        A number of Finnish politicians both local and parliamentary representatives from the populist right wing party the True Finns have now – finally – been condemned in actual courts of lawfor their public comments of slander against the Muslim community. Most of these condemned politicians claimed, that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but that all terrorists are Muslims”, or something similar. Wich is a blatant lie, or even if they did not know any better, such a false claim, that they should have known better. All terrorist attacks in Finland during the few past decades have been made by ethnic Christian Finns, like the young man who blew a nail-bomb in a shopping center, or the young man who shot some restaurant patrons and a police officer from the top of a building, like the nazi skinheads who have systematically attacked people who have expressed their opposition to these nazies, or several of these idiots only last year who attacked the refugee centers with Molotov cocktails. And by the way none of these Molotov cocktail attacks were even prosecuted as terrorist attacks, or even as attempted murder even though there were families with little children and elderly people inside the refugee centers. I think our judical system failed to recognize terrorism, for what else were these other than politically motivated terror attacks? No, these obvious terrorist dudes were condemned from attempted arson. Why? Because they were not Muslims?

        We have had a Muslim community in Finland for long before even our indipendence. Those Muslims have fought, bled and died in our wars to defend our common multicultural nation. And now, our nationalist conservatives dare to hint, that terrorism is a some sort of result of Islam. The same nationalist hatemongers, who have been found standing in nazi salute with known nazies at the grave of Eugen Schauman, who was a Finnish young man who did this terrorist attack against the Russian general governor a bit over hundred years ago in Helsinki after he had been rejected by a girl, he loved… When a white Christian dude does a terrorist attack they try to make it, that it was only a lone disturbed individual, but that excuse does not stick, because they so often worship the assumed political nationalist motives of those disturbed dudes. Does it?

        Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.