The Travel Ban Is about Vetting — Which Means It’s about Islam

President Donald Trump prepares to sign an executive order. (Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

Because the United States is in a defensive war against sharia supremacism.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, March 18, 2017:

It is not about the executive orders. When it comes to protecting the United States from the threats posed by radical Islam, it has never been about President Donald Trump’s executive orders: the first one that was torpedoed by the radical judiciary in January, and the new and improved version that was suspended this week — the Lawyer Left having conveniently managed to shop its challenge to Barack Obama’s fellow Hawaiian and Harvard Law School classmate Judge Derrick Watson.

The issue is vetting. Each executive order was conceived as a temporary step, a “hold in place” measure while the permanent solution, vetting, was carefully crafted and ultimately implemented.

Now, just as the Left hoped, the temporary step has not only overwhelmed the permanent solution. It has made the permanent solution much more difficult — perhaps impossible — to achieve.

The president’s first order was not invalidated because it was invalid. It was invalidated by an outrageous political maneuver disguised as a judicial decision by the Ninth Circuit federal appeals court. Yet government lawyers — especially the law-and-order, have-faith-in-the-system types — can’t help themselves. They see litigation as a high-minded chess game, winnable by reasoned strategy: Look at what the court said the infirmities were, address them, and then take another crack at persuading the tribunal.

But that’s not the game being played by the Ninth Circuit and the many progressive activists among the 300-odd lawyers President Obama placed on the federal bench (that’s life tenure, boys and girls). They are about winning the war, not the skirmish.

The Ninth Circuit struck down the first executive order not because it transgressed the theoretical constitutional rights of lawful permanent-resident aliens, immigrant visa holders, or state universities. The judges struck it down because they are the political Left. This had nothing to do with law. The Left has a policy objection to the notion of subjecting Muslims to heightened immigration scrutiny, because it has a policy objection to government recognition of the nexus between Islamic scripture and terrorism committed by Muslims.

For the Left, the law is not a corpus of constitutional and statutory principles to be applied. It is a pliable weapon for achieving policy goals, enabling will-to-power to masquerade as a “legal process.”

No tweaking of an executive order will overcome that.

Tweaking the executive order is not going to bring the Ninth Circuit around. Or judge Watson. Or federal-district judge Theodore Chuang of Maryland, another Obama-appointee who joined Watson in blocking Trump’s directive. Understand this: There is no way to craft an order restricting immigration from Muslim countries that will satisfy them — no matter how rife with jihadism the countries are, no matter how manifest it is that their dysfunctional or anti-American regimes make visa background checks impossible.

The Trump administration seems oddly stunned by this. It is as if they believed they were in a real, bona fide legal dispute; as if a few modifications in response to the judges’ express legal objections were going to make the Left’s implacable policy objection go away.

It was never going to work that way.

The courts were never going to grapple with the four corners of the executive orders — the undeniable, unambiguous, sweeping legislative authority vested in the president to restrict alien entry into the U.S.; the fact that non-immigrant aliens outside the U.S. do not have constitutional rights; the fact that our system makes border security against foreign threats the responsibility of the accountable political branches, not the unaccountable judiciary.

This is politics of a most demagogic kind, not legal analysis. So what the courts offer instead is a dark theory of purportedly rabid anti-Muslim bias, cobbled together by parol evidence of campaign-trail rhetoric.

And the administration fell for it. The administration has been goaded into replying, “No, no, no — this has nothing to do with Islam.” It points to the 85 percent of Muslim aliens globally who are unaffected by the orders. It stresses that the countries with the world’s largest Muslim populations — Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan . . . — are not touched by the orders. It notes that countries covered by the order were first cited in legislation signed by Obama, not because they were Muslim but because they had unstable or hostile regimes that defy reliable immigrant screening. It emphasizes that of the original seven Islamic countries, one has now been exempted from the temporary ban — i.e., that the trajectory is to affect fewer Muslims, not more.

That’s great . . . if what you’re trying to achieve is a temporary step followed by . . . nothing.

The goal here, though, is to achieve a screening system that vets for Islamic radicalism. How do you ever get there if, to try to justify a temporary step that provides no material security improvements, you disavow a purpose to subject alien Muslims to heightened scrutiny?

If that is not what President Trump’s “extreme vetting” is about, then what’s the point? Why bother with any of this?

Here is the blunt, inescapable fact: The United States is in a defensive war against what is imprecisely called “radical Islam.” The war proceeds on two tracks: the kinetic militancy of jihadists, and the cultural challenge of anti-Western, anti-constitutional Islamic law and mores. The ideology that catalyzes both tracks is sharia supremacism — the implementation and spreading of sharia, classical Islam’s societal structure and legal code, is the rationale for all jihadist terror and of all the Islamist cultural aggression that slipstreams behind it.

The dividing line is sharia supremacism. On one side of it we find patriotic, pro-American Muslims who are spiritually devout but reject the imposition of sharia on civil and political life; on the other, the Islamists — the sharia supremacists. The challenge posed by the latter is not merely that some percentage of them are jihadists; it is that as a population — or as enclaves that take hold in the West — they are assimilation-resistant, and their ideological havens will breed the jihadists of the future while stifling the Constitution in the here and now.

That is what we have to vet for. That is what the majority of the American people want: Muslims who embrace our way of life invited in, Muslims who threaten our way of life kept out. You can’t get there without subjecting Muslim aliens to more-extensive inspection.

Of course it is unfortunate that innocent, pro-American Muslims have to be put through more paces than other aliens. But it is not quite as unfortunate as the incontestable fact that inadequately vetted Muslims commit mass-murder attacks. While some of the innocent, pro-American Muslims will resent the heightened scrutiny (though many will see the need for it), those who are eventually admitted to our country will be safer because of it — a matter of no small consequence since peaceful Muslims, more than any other group, are killed and persecuted by jihadists and other sharia supremacists. In any event, though, the security burden has to be imposed on someone, and as between Americans and aspiring Muslim immigrants, it is less the responsibility of Americans than of alien Muslims that Islam endorses war and conquest. We didn’t create this problem.

This is the vetting that the Left and the courts are determined to prevent. They would have you believe that the Constitution is a suicide pact: that alien Muslims somehow have a First Amendment establishment-clause right against enhanced inspection; that an immigration system that has always vetted against totalitarian political ideologies cannot vet against this one, sharia supremacism, because it shrouds itself in religion.

So forget the executive orders. This is the ground on which the Left has to be defeated. We will never get there by denying that Islam is the heart of the matter.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

The Truth Behind Media’s New Favorite Euphemism: ‘Muslim-Majority Countries’

Breitbart, by John Hayward, March 9, 2017:

Both versions of President Trump’s executive order have been caricatured as a “Muslim ban,” even though they applied to only six or seven specific countries, leaving 90 percent of the world’s population out of the mix.

The fallback euphemism is to say that Trump is “banning” immigration (they never say it is conditional and temporary) from several “Muslim-majority” countries. This is also misleading because those countries are not merely inhabited by a majority of Muslims. They are Muslim countries, period. They all have some form of Islamic law written into their legal codes.

With Iraq removed from the equation, the remaining nations affected by the order are Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. The original executive order did not list the affected nations; it merely referred to Obama-era legislation that named them as nations of particular concern. The revised version of the order does name the affected nations because it explains why each of them is on the list.

The first version of the order did not mention Islam at all. The revised version does, but only to explain why the first order did not because this is not a “Muslim ban”:

Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities — whoever they are and wherever they reside — to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.

Islam is not a “minority religion” in any of the six countries named by the order. In fact, all six of them officially incorporate Islamic sharia law into their legal codes.

Of the six, Iran is an outright Islamic theocracy. Its Supreme Leader is the Ayatollah, a top-ranking Muslim cleric. Iran’s legal code is explicitly based on sharia, with a smattering of civil ordinances thrown in. Iranian courts have been known to invoke sharia for such judgments as requiring a woman to be blinded in retribution for throwing acid in a victim’s face.

Iranian law nominally has some protections for religious minorities, but the absolute supremacy of Islam is not questioned. Observers have reported that religious freedom is growing steadily worse in the theocracy.

Libya is the most complex of the six nations to classify, because it does not have a functioning central government at all, following Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s disastrous intervention – a fact the mainstream media prefers not to dwell on. “Libya’s post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities,” as the CIA World Factbook tactfully puts it.

The capital city of Tripoli was seized by an Islamist coalition, with the Muslim Brotherhood a major player. Another is Ansar al-Sharia, a Salafist Islamic militia. The presence of “sharia” in its name is not a coincidence; they declared Libya an Islamic “caliphate” in 2014.

There has been success in the battle against Libyan ISIS, but al-Qaeda is still a major player. U.N.-backed unity governments tend to include a lot of people from the more extreme wings of Libyan politics. They have to because Islamists are a powerful political force in the country.

Another major force in chaotic Libya is widely described as a “secularist,” General Khalifa Haftar. Some observers wonder just how “secularist” he really is, especially if he gains control of the country and has to make deals with the powerful Islamist elements he is currently fighting.

Haftar is an old Qaddafi hand, and while the late dictator is remembered as a brutal and mercurial secularist loathed by hardline Islamists in Libya, he was sometimes given to Islamist sentiments of his own. For instance, Qaddafi once declared Islam was the only universal human religion and said, “all those believers who do not follow Islam are losers.” He named his son and once-presumed successor Saif al-Islam.

Libya’s future is a question mark, but it is highly disingenuous to describe even its present state as merely “Muslim-majority.” The interim Libyan constitution of 2011 begins with the invocation of “Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” states that Islam is the official religion of the country, and declares “sharia shall be the main source of legislation.” Until and unless a different constitution is put into effect by an internationally-recognized national government, Libya is a Muslim nation.

Somalia officially imposed sharia law through its Cabinet in 2009. “Islamic Sharia is the only option to get solutions for the problems in this country,” one minister declared. Less than 0.1% of the population follows a religion other than Islam.

The Somali government banned Christmas celebrations in December 2015, because “having Muslims celebrate Christmas is not the right thing,” as a top official put it. He likened Christmas celebrations to apostasy and said they are “not in any way related to Islam.” Foreigners were graciously allowed to celebrate Christmas in their homes, but even hotels were instructed to prevent guests from holding celebrations.

The al-Shabaab terrorist organization thinks the central government is not Islamist enough and imposes an even harsher sharia code on the sizable portions of the country it effectively controls. Many of the people living under al-Shabaab control have told interviewers they support its legal code.

Sudan is officially an Islamic state with a sharia legal code. Even the leaders of breakaway South Sudan, which want to return to a common-law system on the British model, have been struggling to purge sharia from the legal system.

Sudan, like Somalia, is not “majority Muslim” – it is about 96% Muslim, and the 3% Christian minority is brutally persecuted, despite some nominal legal protection for other religions. World Atlas notes that “some interpretations of the Muslim Law in the country fail to recognize or accept apostasy and marriages to non-Muslims,” and concludes that “Sudan leads the world as the most difficult country for Christians since freedom of religion or belief is systematically ignored.”

Syria is an uncomfortable case, as some religious minorities say they fared much better under the Assad dictatorship. Some Syrian Christians bluntly refer to Bashar Assad as their “protector” and have similar hopes for the intervening Russians. Of course, critics of the brutal Syrian regime argue that Assad’s alliance with Christians is purely cynical, and even accuse him of inflaming the Christian fear of Muslims for political gain.

Assad’s government is nominally secular, while even most of the “good guy” rebels supported by Western powers practice Islamic law through sharia courts. Syrians in contested areas complain that different sharia courts loyal to various factions, from “moderates” to hardcore al-Qaeda Islamists, issue conflicting verdicts.

At the height of the rebellion, many Syrians expressed a desire to replace the Syrian Arab Republic with an Islamic state. Then they found themselves saddled with the Islamic State, which may have led some of them to reconsider. However, there are still calls to impose sharia across Syria, portraying it as an instrument of peace and justice.

Having said that, the constitution of the “secular” Syrian Arab Republic explicitly requires the president to be a Muslim, and requires that “Islamic jurisprudence shall be a major source of legislation.” This was true of both the older constitution and the revised document prepared in 2012.

The same article declares “the State shall respect all religions, and ensure the freedom to perform all the rituals that do not prejudice public order,” but there is no question: Syria is a Muslim nation, not a “Muslim-majority nation.” Islam enjoys a privileged position in its legal code that Western liberals would not tolerate without comment from any other religion.

Yemen practices a mixture of sharia law and common law in what passes for its central government – which, of course, was overthrown by the Houthis, a Shiite Muslim insurgency supported by the Iranian theocracy. The internationally recognized Yemeni government has said the Houthis want to transform Yemen into a caliphate ruled by lineal descendants of Mohammed.

Even Houthi spokesmen who strongly disagree with that characterization have said they think “sharia should be one of the main sources of the law in Yemen, not the only source.”

The large portions of Yemen controlled by al-Qaeda are noted for the strict rule of Islamic law, including the oppression of women. Al-Qaeda regards the failure to strictly obey sharia as “debauchery.”

The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen explicitly declares it to be an Islamic state, and stipulates “sharia is the source of all legislation.” Islam is unambiguously named as the official state religion. Denouncing Islam is a crime punishable by death. Over 99% of the population is Muslim.

Iraq: Even though it is no longer listed in Trump’s executive order, it should be noted that Iraq is an explicitly Islamic nation, according to its 2005 constitution. “Islam is the official religion of the State and is a fundamental source of legislation,” Article 2 declares. “No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.”

Religious freedom is nominally protected, as long as the supremacy of Islam is acknowledged by all: “This Constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice such as Christians, Yazedis, and Mandi Sabeans.”

Some Iraqi clerics agitate for stricter adherence to sharia law, which introduces the dangerous question of whether Sunni or Shiite law should reign supreme.

The incorporation of Sharia law into the legal codes of these countries occurs to a degree that would revolt the American Left, if any religion except Islam was involved. Rest assured that no one in today’s mainstream media would describe, say, 15th-century Spain as a “majority Catholic” nation.

For that matter, they do not seem inclined to describe Israel as “majority Jewish”; they simply refer to it as a “Jewish state.” Israel is, in fact, only about 75% Jewish. A recent effort supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party to formally define Israel as a Jewish state failed, in part due to concerns that it could lead to discriminatory policies against the Arab population.

Its legal code includes extensive protection for religious minorities, and there are Muslim and Druze members of its parliament. Last November, one of them staged the Muslim call to prayer during a parliamentary session to protest a bill that would prevent all places of worship from using loudspeakers to summon their worshipers, because it was seen as unfairly targeting mosques.

Equivalent stunts are unwise for members of religious minorities in “Muslim-majority nations,” including the six listed in President Trump’s executive order.

In conclusion: all of the nations mentioned in both versions of President Trump’s executive order are Muslim countries, period. Every single one of them has Islam as the state religion and bases its legal code on sharia. Not a single one of these countries is a “Muslim-majority” nation that practices full and complete religious pluralism under a secular government.

Trump’s New Immigration Order Creates Database of Honor Killings

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

PJ MEDIA, BY ROBERT SPENCER, MARCH 7, 2017:

President Trump’s new executive order on immigration calls for the establishment of a public database of honor killings, which are defined as “gender-based violence against women … in the United States by foreign nationals.”

This is an extraordinary first step towards protecting Americans not just from jihad massacres, but from the cultural encroachments of a societal system that institutionalizes discrimination against women, non-Muslims, gays, and others.

Predictably, the Left hates it. They have steadfastly refused to notice anything about Sharia that is oppressive or destructive to the human spirit.

Jeva Lange writes in The Week:

Alleged “honor killings” are a major concern of opponents of the U.S. refugee programs, although supporters of refugee programs say the language demonizes Muslims and that there is insufficient evidence of such killings by refugees in the United States.

“Demonizes Muslims”? This is just more Leftist hysteria. In reality, the new version of the immigration ban maintains that the first version was “not motivated by animus toward any religion,” and doesn’t associate honor killings with Islam. Lange is concerned, however, about comments from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the target of the Leftist establishment’s latest attempt to demonize and destroy members of the Trump team:

[Sessions] has expressed concern about honor killings in the past, such as in a 2016 discussion with a State Department official.

In that discussion, Sessions noted:

Twenty-seven people were killed in the United States for honor killings according to a DOJ report.

Obama State Department official Simon Henshaw replied:

I have no evidence that there were any honor killings among the refugee population resettled in the U.S., sir.

Sessions:

Well, it’s from the same cultural background, I would say.

Lange then quoted Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates claiming that while Sessions was in the Senate, he was:

 … one of the most, if not the most, anti-immigrant senator in the U.S. Senate. … He has a long record of demonizing non-white immigrants, especially Muslim and Latino immigrants.

While making these utterly baseless charges that Sessions is a racist, Khera was apparently silent about the reality of honor killing. (Lange doesn’t mention the fact that it was Khera who wrote to John Brennan in 2011 demanding that all mentions of Islam and jihad be removed from counterterror training materials. Brennan immediately complied.) Was Sessions correct when he noted that immigrants “from the same cultural background” as those who have committed honor killings in the U.S. might share a positive view of the practice, and even resort to it themselves in extreme circumstances?

To answer that question, it is useful to know that Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide — and they do so with justification for their actions in Islamic law.

A manual of Sharia which was certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that:

[R]etaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.

However:

[N]ot subject to retaliation [is] a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring. ( Reliance of the Traveller o1.1-2).

Someone who kills his or her child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law. And this is not just some legal abstraction — it is incorporated into present-day law in many Islamic countries:

The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders.

Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, but there is no change yet.

Syria, in 2009, scrapped a law limiting sentences for honor killings. However:

“[T]he new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’”

In 2003, the Jordanian Parliament voted down, on Islamic grounds, a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported:

“Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”

Until the encouragement Islamic law gives to honor killing is acknowledged and confronted, more women will suffer. The Palestinian Authority, Iraq, and Jordan are not named in the ban, but the countries that are named share this “cultural background.”

Trump is right to protect women from this scourge.

Will another Leftist court, acting in the name of “tolerance” and “multiculturalism,” find it somehow unconstitutional to protect women in this way?

10 Points You Won’t Hear About Trump’s Revised Travel Restrictions

Syrian refugees arrive in the U.S. after spending five years in a refugee camp in Turkey (Illustrative Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, March 7, 2017:

President Trump has issued an executive order modifying his controversial travel restrictions which have been incorrectly derided as a “Muslim ban.”

Of course, despite major changes, groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are still calling it a “Muslim ban” and are committed to retaining the issue’s divisiveness so they can endlessly bash Trump as a bigot and raise their own profile in the process.

“This executive order, like the last order, is at its core a Muslim ban, which is discriminatory and unconstitutional,” said the executive-director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, who nonetheless touted the revisions as a “partial victory.”

Below are 10 points about the revised executive order that you’re unlikely to hear from media outlets and politically-driven organizations who have are dependent upon continued controversy:

1. As previously, it is not a “Muslim ban.” 

As explained by Clarion Project advisory board member and leader of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow in this video (see below), the restrictions are based on an intersection of geography and security risks. They are limited to 6 of 50 Muslim-majority countries and impact non-Muslims as well. And, just as before, the restrictions are a pause rather than a ban.

The order is for between 90 to 120 days, depending on whether the person is a visitor or a refugee. As we’ll discuss, the exceptions are so wide that even describing this order as a “pause” is a bit of an overstatement.

2. Iraq is removed from the list, bringing the list of impacted countries down to 5.

Including Iraq (and especially the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan) was a mistake from the beginning. That is now fixed. The executive order implies that this change is due to the fact that the Iraqi government agreed to improved intelligence-gathering and security measures.

Those conversations with the Iraqis obviously took place after the initial executive order, which shows the Trump Administration can be influenced by constructive criticism.

3. The executive order justifies the inclusion of the other five countries.

The order explains why the president chose these five countries, which is a scaling back of Trump’s campaign pledge to ban immigration from all terror-prone countries (which in itself is a scaling back of his initial pledge to ban all Muslim immigration).

Iran, Syria and Sudan are designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism and  the former two are explicit enemies of the U.S. Libya and Yemen are failed states with inadequate counter-terrorism abilities and so much chaos that the U.S. doesn’t even have operating embassies in these locations. Somalia is similarly unstable and contains a major Al-Qaeda foothold. In addition, the Somali community in the U.S. is known for its high rate of radicalism.

4. The five countries were chosen based on the Obama Administration’s determination.

The executive order explains that these five countries were selected based on the Obama Administration considering them to be “countries of particular concern” that could not participate in the visa waiver program.

It was the Obama Administration that stated that persons coming to the U.S. from these countries pose a greater security risk than those from other countries. Everyone who argues that there’s no reason to treat these countries as unique risks is arguing with Trump and Obama. Where were the condemnations of President Obama’s “Islamophobia” for identifying these Muslim-majority countries as posing a special danger?

5. Three hundred refugees are currently under FBI investigation.

 It is true that refugees undergo a lengthy screening process, unlike typical visa applicants. Opponents of the travel restrictions point to how only a small percentage of refugees have been convicted of terrorism-related offenses. The Senate Judiciary Committee said only about 40 had been convicted, representing about 7 percent of the total of 580 since the 9/11 attacks.

The executive order points out that 300 people who were admitted into the U.S. as refugees are now under FBI counter-terrorism investigations; a much higher number than the previous figures used for gauging the risk.

However, in fairness, a Department of Homeland Security report says most refugees who become terrorists are radicalized years after arriving in the U.S., so we don’t know if this figure necessarily proves there’s a major gap in the refugee vetting process. We also don’t know how many of the 300 refugees are from the five affected countries.

6. There is a 10-day advance notice.

The previous executive order went into effect immediately, catching airlines and governments off-guard. This one goes into effect in 10 days, giving time for preparation.

7. The new executive order explicitly does not apply to current visa and green card holders.

Permanent residents and current visa-holders are not affected this time. The original executive order’s unclear language has been fixed.

8. Syrian refugees are no longer singled out.

The original executive order suspended refugee admission for 120 days but singled out Syrian refugees for indefinite exclusion “until such time” that the government determines that they can be safely admitted. The singling out was unnecessary, as that’s the same standard for allowing refugees from other places, but the original language emphasized that Trump was delivering on a campaign promise to reject Syrian refugees.

That language is no longer. A refugee of Syrian nationality is not viewed as inherently more objectionable than a refugee of another nationality.

9. There are very wide exceptions.

This executive order uses clearer language to allow for major exceptions even within the 120-day refugee pause and the 90-day pause on visitors from the five countries.

Far from a wholesale treatment, it emphasizes that each applicant will be handled on a “case-by-case basis” in case they qualify for a waiver. There are waivers for when the applicant’s entry into the U.S. is in our “national interest” or rejection of the person would cause them “undue hardship.”

The order gives various examples of what qualifies as “undue hardship,” for example people who have worked in the U.S. and are seeking re-entry; those coming to reside with a family member; those with a significant network of contacts in the U.S.; those with business or professional obligations here; children; those in need of medical attention; those previously or currently employed by the U.S. government, and other situations where rejection would cause an “undue hardship.”

These are the reasons most people from these countries are coming to the U.S. How many other situations are left where a waiver isn’t suitable?

Of course, some biased critics aren’t paying attention to these very important facts. Right after the executive order was released, Grace Meng of Human Rights Watch was uncritically quoted in an article on Politico as saying that the new executive order is “going to harm people fleeing gender-based violence” like women trying to escape rapists.

Actually, such women would obviously qualify for the “undue hardship” exception. But readers of that article wouldn’t know that because Politico unquestionably posted her quote.

10. The type of vetting that is being proposed is in alignment with the Founding Fathers’ opinions on immigration.

Joshua Charles, an expert on the Founding Fathers, collected some of the founders’ most insightful quotes on immigration in an article he wrote in January. They explained the U.S. is more than a piece of land with opportunities for wealth. Rather, it is a country held together by foundational beliefs that are unique and not inherently understood and embraced by all persons upon birth.

The executive orders emphasize improving the overall vetting process to screen for hostile ideologies. It’s not just about discovering covert terrorists and criminals; it’s about separating those who support the U.S.’ secular-democratic values from those views are incompatible with that, such as (but not limited to) Islamist extremists.

Opponents of Trump and this policy have a choice to make: They can emphasize (or lie about) the parts they continue to disagree with, elongating a cycle of divisiveness, or they pair their criticism with positive reinforcement that acknowledges the improvements that have been made.

Decreasing the sound of the alarm is not in the best interest of hyper-partisan commentators or Islamist activists like CAIR who are enjoying the limelight and seeking increased donations, but it is in the best interest of the country.

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio.

Donald Trump’s Executive Order: Officials Must Identify Immigration Applicants Who Support ‘Acts of Violence’

Breitbart, by Neil Munro, March 6, 2017:

President Donald Trump’s immigration Executive Order directs federal officials to set new immigration rules that will identify and exclude people who support the use of violence, and also hints at the exclusion of people who embrace orthodox Islam’s “violent extremism.”

Senior officials “shall implement a program, as part of the process for [immigration] adjudications, to identify individuals who seek to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis, who support terrorism, violent extremism, acts of violence toward any group or class of people within the United States, or who present a risk of causing harm subsequent to their entry,” said Section 5 of the new Executive Order, which likely will reverse President Barack Obama’s open-door policies to foreign migrants. 

The anti-extremist language in the new March 6 Executive Order is narrower and more legalistic than the pro-American language in the judge-blocked Jan. 27 Executive Order, which said:

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Allied left-wing and Islamic advocates, including Democratic activist Khizr Khan, complained that Trump’s “hostile attitudes” language was intended to exclude immigrants with Islamic beliefs.

The language bolsters the often-ignored language in the current N-400 citizenship application document, which asks applicants if they have “EVER advocated (either directly or indirectly) the overthrow of any government by force or violence? Have you EVER persecuted (either directly or indirectly) any person because of race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion?”

The new memo also directs officials to collect and share information about immigrants and refugees who commit crimes, including the terror and anti-women crimes associated with people from Islamic-majority countries.  Section 11 of the new order declares officials should collect information about:

(i)    information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;

(ii)   information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States;

(iii)  information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals.

 (iv)   any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

The new Executive Order says it does not “discriminate” against any particular religion, which is likely meant to rebut progressive claims that opposition to Islam’s combined religious and political ideology is similar to legal curbs on the practice of Christianity and other religions which do accept the separation of church from state.

Executive Order 13769 did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion.  While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion.  That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities — whoever they are and wherever they reside — to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.

The Executive order directs agency heads to quickly establish the new entry rules, saying:

The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the program described in subsection (a) of this section within 60 days of the effective date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the effective date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the effective date of this order.

The president also directs the agencies to toughen routine screening of legal visitors, such as tourists or business executives. “In the first 20 days, [the Department of Homeland Security] will perform a global, country-by-country review of the identity and security information that each country provides to the U.S. Government to support U.S. visa and other immigration benefit determinations. Countries will then have 50 days to comply with requests from the U.S. Government to update or improve the quality of the information they provide.” 

Trump’s immigration and visitor rules will likely be very different from former President Obama’s open-door policies. Obama described his globalist policy in a Nov. 2014 speech to Democratic supporters in Chicago:

Sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our particular religion, and then we start treating other folks differently. And that, sometimes, has been a bottleneck to how we think about immigration.  If you look at the history of immigration in this country, each successive wave, there have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, ‘Well, I don’t want those folks’ — even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.

Obama made the same diversity-first claim in September 2015:

When I hear folks talking as if somehow these [foreign] kids are different than my kids or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow that they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care, I think that’s un-American. I don’t believe that, I think it is wrong and I think we should do better, because that’s how America was made.

Obama’s outside policy is expressed more crudely by the alliance of Islamic and left-wing groups which are protesting Trump’s pro-America immigration policies.

Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Banning Travel from Six Terror-Tied Countries

Breitbart, by Neil Munro, Mar 6, 2017:

President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order blocking the arrival of travelers from six conflict-prone countries for 90 days, and freezing the inflow of refugees from any country for the next 120 days. 

The new order shifts the task of stopping the refugees from officers at U.S. airports over to officials at U.S. embassies overseas, who have been told to stop preparing needed travel documents until Trump’s aides complete a national security review, according to documents released today by the White House.

The shift to overseas embassies may prevent judges from trying to block the new order, just as three California judges on Feb. 3 blocked part of Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order on refugees. Under the Constitution, judges have even less authority to block administrative actions in overseas embassies than judges now claim to have over officers working for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The order blocks document processing for would-be refugees from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. A seventh country, Iraq, was dropped from the list when Iraqi officials promised to upgrade their security checks, the White House said. 

The order also cuts the annual inflow of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000, and orders federal officials to determine the law allows local communities any say in where refugees are settled in the United States. 

The new order cancels the prior refugee order. Officials also say the new order begins March 16, so giving time for people with valid visas to get into the United States.

According to an explanation released by the White House:

Per the Executive Order, foreign nationals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, who are outside the United States and who did not have a valid visa at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 27, 2017, and do not have a valid visa on the effective date of this order are not eligible to enter the United States while the temporary suspension remains in effect. Thus any individual who had a valid visa either on January 27, 2017 (prior to 5:00 PM) or holds a valid visa on the effective date of the Executive Order is not barred from entry …

Visas will not be revoked solely as a result of the Executive Order. The Department of State has broad authority under Section 221(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to revoke visas…

Returning refugees and asylees, i.e., individuals who have already been granted asylum or refugee status in the United States, are explicitly excepted from this Executive Order. As such, they may continue to travel consistent with existing requirements….

The Executive Order is effective at 12:01 A.M., Eastern Standard Time, on March 16, 2017.

The new order also shows how the president has the full authority under the Constitution and the laws to curb the inflow of refugees, despite opposition form U.S-based Islamic groups, judges, progressives and Democratic party legislators. The presidential claim of legal authority is needed to push back against judges, such as the three California judges who declared Feb. 3 that U.S. businesses and individuals can get judges to grant visas to foreign individuals.  

The Executive Order signed on March 6, 2017, allows for the proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals. The United States has the world’s most generous immigration system, yet it has been repeatedly exploited by terrorists and other malicious actors who seek to do us harm. In order to ensure that the U.S. Government can conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the national security risks posed from our immigration system, the Executive Order imposes a 90-day suspension of entry to the United States of nationals of certain designated countries—countries that were designated by Congress and the Obama Administration as posing national security risks with respect to visa-free travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

The U.S. Government must ensure that those entering this country will not harm the American people after entering, and that they do not bear malicious intent toward the United States and its people. The Executive Order, together with the Presidential Memorandum, protects the United States from countries compromised by terrorism and ensures a more rigorous vetting process. This Executive Order ensures that we have a functional immigration system that safeguards our national security…

The Congress provided the President of the United States, in section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), with the authority to suspend the entry of any class of aliens the President deems detrimental to the national interest. This authority has been exercised repeatedly for decades, and has been a component of immigration law since the enactment of the original INA in 1952.

Read it all here and here

Pro-immigration groups complained about the new safety measures. “The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban,” said a statement from the ACLU. “Instead, President Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people.”

***

Also see:

AP ‘Fact Check’ FAIL: Trump Claim on Terrorism and Immigration Correlates with Justice Dept. Data

trump-sotu-terrorism-immigration-sized-770x415xtPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, FEBRUARY 28, 2017:

During his Tuesday address to a joint session of Congress, President Trump cited Justice Department terrorism figures:

According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.

We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.

It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.

We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.

That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our Nation safe — and to keep out those who would do us harm.

The Associated Press “fact check” on this claim pretends that Trump pulls this number out of thin air:

From the AP:

TRUMP: “According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.”

THE FACTS: It’s unclear what Justice Department data he’s citing, but the most recent government information that has come out doesn’t back up his claim. Just over half the people Trump talks about were actually born in the United States, according to research from the Department of Homeland Security revealed last week. That report said of 82 people the government determined were inspired by a foreign terrorist group to attempt or carry out an attack in the U.S., just over half were native-born citizens.

This terrorism data identifying 280 terrorism cases from 9/11/2001-12/31/2014 come from a Justice Department letter (dated January 13, 2016) sent to Senator Ted Cruz and then-Senator (now Attorney General) Jeff Sessions. This letter is provided below.

When the staff of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest examined the open-source data for the 580 cases, this is what they found:

Based on open-source research conducted on a list provided by the Department of Justice, the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest has determined that at least 380 of the 580 individuals convicted of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2014, were born abroad.  

On August 12, 2015, December 3, 2015, and January 11, 2016, letters were sent to the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State, requesting the immigration histories of individuals implicated in terrorism since early 2014. For over 10 months, the Obama Administration has refused to provide this crucial and easily accessible information. Since sending the last letter on January 11, however, the Subcommittee has identified 18 additional individuals implicated in terrorism since early 2014 – bringing the total to 131, of whom at least 16 were initially admitted to the United States as refugees, and at least 17 of whom are the natural-born citizen children of immigrants.

However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) did provide the Subcommittee with a list it maintains of 580 individuals not only implicated, but convicted, of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2014. DOJ has deferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide immigration background information regarding these individuals, but to this day, DHS has not done so – despite having the information on the foreign-born easily accessible in its records and databases.

Using this list, the Subcommittee conducted open-source research and determined that at least 380 of the 580 were foreign-born (71 were confirmed natural-born, and the remaining 129 are not known).  Of the 380 foreign-born, at least 24 were initially admitted to the United States as refugees, and at least 33 had overstayed their visas. Additionally, of those born abroad, at least 62 were from Pakistan, 28 were from Lebanon, 22 were Palestinian, 21 were from Somalia, 20 were from Yemen, 19 were from Iraq, 16 were from Jordan, 17 were from Egypt, and 10 were from Afghanistan.

So Trump is correct: 380 of 580 (65.5%, or just under 2/3) were in fact foreign born.

It is no mystery, contra the Associated Press, where this data came from. And as you can note, all of these cases involved Category I, II, and III terrorism offenses.

That notwithstanding, some in the media and terrorism industry began throwing out other terrorism numbers from a number of difference sources with no reference to the Justice Department data cited by President Trump:

Meanwhile, Rioting Breaks Out In Sweden

67279549_0Zero Hedge, by Tyler Durden, Feb 21, 2017:

It would appear the mainstream media (along with several celebrities and Swedish politicians) is going to be apologizing to President Trump once again.

Having spent the entire new cycle trying to ignore the immigrant crisis facing Sweden, and pin the ignorant tail on Trump, both Dagbladet and Expressen reports riots breaking out in the highly immigrant concentrated Stockholdm borough of Rinkeby, Sweden with police firing warning shots as 100s of young people throw stones and burn cars.

During the evening hundreds of young people gathered in the center of Rinkeby, well known for its high concentration of immigrants and people with immigrant ancestry.

20170220_rinkeby5

In June 2010, Rinkeby was the scene of riots and attacks against the local police station and Rinkeby is the region in which the ’60 Minutes’ crew were attacked in 2016.

The problems Sweden faces integrating large numbers of Muslim immigrants is a subject on which Nordstjernan columnist Ulf Nilson has written many times. His warnings of increasing radicalization among Sweden’s Muslims – warnings he started to broadcast a decade ago – now seem eerily prophetic in light of an Associated Press investigation that found Stockholm to be a breeding ground for jihadists among Swedish Somalis.

 

According to the AP report, which first ran Jan. 24, an al-Qaida-linked group is busy recruiting anti-government fighters among Somali youths living in Rinkeby. A suburb of Stockholm, Rinkeby has earned the nickname of “Little Mogadishu” because of the number of Somalis living there. Rinkeby is also the center of the recruiting efforts of al-Shabab, a group with ties to al-Qaida.

Rinkeby is a known problem area in Stockholm. It was here NRK journalist Anders Magnus was attacked with stones last spring, and here the police never go in the evenings without reinforcements from other patrols according to Dabladet. A freelancer the newspaper spoke to, described the situation as serious.

Read more (video and photos included)

***

Filmmaker-journalist Ami Horowitz sounds off on the controversial reference President Trump made about Sweden and defends his reporting on crime wave fears and problems since the country allowed an influx of refugees. Tucker Carlson last night:

Also see:

Tucker Reacts: Trump Causes Firestorm with Remark About ‘Problems’ in Sweden

Fox News Insider, February 20, 2017:

Tucker Carlson reacted this morning after President Donald Trump mentioned the “problems” in Sweden caused by large numbers of refugees from the Middle East.

The president’s mention of Sweden, during his campaign rally Saturday in Florida, was immediately ridiculed, since there have been no terror attacks in Sweden.

It wasn’t immediately clear during the remarks what Trump was referencing with regard to Sweden.

Many news commentators bashed Trump after the rally and on Sunday shows, accusing him of trying to mislead people about a terror attack in Sweden.

Trump then tweeted yesterday that the remark was based on a “Tucker Carlson Tonight” segment that aired Friday night.

Horowitz accused Swedish officials of being in denial about the problems.

Carlson joined “Fox & Friends” to discuss the fallout, first noting that all U.S. presidents should be “precise” with their words so people know exactly what point they’re trying to make.

But he said the media is ignoring the real story, which is the “massive social cost” and political backlash in European nations as a result of accepting large numbers of refugees.

Carlson said nations like Sweden and France have tried “really hard” and spent a lot of money on integration efforts and it “hasn’t worked very well.”

“Good for Trump and good for anyone else who raises at least that question. Let’s have an honest conversation about how you bring tons of people in and make them fully vested in your society. If they can’t do it, how are we gonna do it?” he asked.

Watch the discussion above.

Islamic Terror and the U.S. Temporary Stay on Immigration

Gatestone Institute, by Uzay Bulut, February 13, 2017:

  • It is short-sighted and reckless to blame President Trump for trying to protect his country and keep his country safe — as any good leader is supposed to do. It would be much wiser to direct our anger where it belongs — at Muslim extremists and Muslim terrorists.
  • To many people, it must be easier to go after the U.S. president than after ISIS terrorists. That way, critics of the president can also pose as “heroes” while ignoring the real threats to all of humanity.
  • Critics of Muslim extremists get numerous death threats from some people in the West because they courageously oppose the grave human rights violations — forced marriages, honor killings, child rape, murdering homosexuals and female genital mutilation (FGM), among others.
  • Why do we even call criticism of such horrific practices “courageous”? It should have been the most normal and ordinary act to criticize beheadings, mutilations and other crimes committed by radical Muslims. But it is not.
  • On the contrary, the temporary ban aims to protect genuine refugees such as Bennetta Bet-Badal, who was murdered in San Bernardino. It would be much wiser to direct our anger where it belongs — at Muslim extremists and Muslim terrorists.

In San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, 14 people were murdered and 22 others seriously wounded in a terrorist attack. The perpetrators were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple. Farook was an American-born U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent, who worked as a health department employee. Malik was a Pakistani-born lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Among the victims of the terror attack was Bennetta Bet-Badal, an Assyrian Christian woman born in Iran in 1969. She fled to the U.S. at age 18 to escape Islamic extremism and the persecution of Christians that followed the Iranian revolution.

“This attack,” stated the Near East Center for Strategic Engagement (NEC-SE), “showcases how Assyrians fled tyranny, oppression, and persecution for freedom and liberty, only to live in a country that is also beginning to be subject to an ever-increasing threat by the same forms of oppressors.”

“NEC-SE would like to take this opportunity to once again urge action to directly arming the Assyrians and Yezidis and other minorities in their indigenous homeland, so that they can defend themselves against terrorism and oppression. This tragedy is evidence that the only way to effectively counter terrorism is not solely here in the US, but abroad and at its root.”

Members of the Islamic State (ISIS) have declared several times that they target “kafirs” (infidels) in the West.

In 2014, Syrian-born Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the official spokesperson and a senior leader of the Islamic State, declared that supporters of the Islamic State from all over the world should attack citizens of Western states, including the US, France and UK:

“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be.

“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”

It is this barbarity that the new U.S. administration is trying to stop.

FBI Director James Comey also warned in July of last year that hundreds of terrorists will fan out to infiltrate western Europe and the U.S. to carry out attacks on a wider scale, as Islamic State is defeated in Syria. “At some point there’s going to be a terrorist diaspora out of Syria like we’ve never seen before. We saw the future of this threat in Brussels and Paris,” said Comey, adding that future attacks will be on “an order of magnitude greater.”

How many ISIS operatives are there in the U.S.? Are ISIS sleeper cells likely in American cities? The people who are trying to create hysteria over the new steps taken by the Trump Administration should focus on investigating these issues more broadly, but they do not. To them, it must be easier to go after the U.S. president than after ISIS terrorists. This way, they can also pose as “heroes” while ignoring the real threat to all of humanity.

It is not only Islamic terrorists that pose a threat. It is also the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, the font of all the modern extremist Muslim ideologies.

The crimes committed by radical Muslims are beyond horrific, but it is getting harder to expose and criticize them. Many critics of Islam in Western countries — including those of Muslim origin — have received countless death deaths and have been exposed to various forms of intimidation.

Some were murdered, such as the Dutch film director, Theo van Gogh. His “crime” was to produce the short film Submission (2004) about the treatment of women under Islam. He was assassinated the same year by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Moroccan-Dutch Muslim.

In 2004, Moroccan-Dutch terrorist Mohammed Bouyeri (left), shot the filmmaker Theo van Gogh (right) to death, then stabbed him and slit his throat.

Some have had to go into hiding. American cartoonist Molly Norris, who promoted an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”, had to go into hiding in 2010 after her life was threatened by Islamic extremists. She also changed her name and stopped producing work for the Seattle Weekly, the New York Times reported.

Who are these people hiding from? From the most radical and devoted followers of the “religion of peace”.

Why should people living in free Western countries be forced to live in fear because they rightfully criticize a destructive and murderous ideology?

They get numerous death threats from some people in the West because they courageously oppose grave human rights violations — forced marriages, honor killings, child rape, murdering homosexuals and female genital mutilation (FGM), among others.

Why do we even call criticism of such horrific practices “courageous”? It should have been the most normal and ordinary act to criticize beheadings, mutilations and other crimes committed by radical Muslims. But it is not. It does require tremendous courage to criticize these acts committed in the name of a religion. For everybody knows that the critics of Islam are risking their lives and security.

In the meantime, “an Islamic State follower posted a message on the Telegram app that said President Trump was wasting his time by blocking refugees from Syria,” reported the journalist Rowan Scarborough.

“‘Trump is preventing the entrance of the citizens of [seven] countries to protect America from terrorism,’ said the message captured by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “Your decision will not do anything to prevent the attacks; They will come from inside America, from Americans born in America, whose fathers were born in America and whose grandparents were born in America.”

President Trump’s executive order is not a ban on Muslims. Individuals of all religious backgrounds of these seven countries have been affected. Nor is it a ban on refugees. On the contrary, the ban aims to protect genuine refugees such as Bennetta Bet-Badal, who was murdered in San Bernardino.

It is short-sighted and reckless to blame President Trump for trying to protect his country and keep it safe — as any good leader is supposed to do. It would be much wiser to direct our anger where it belongs — at Muslim extremists and Muslim terrorists.

Uzay Bulut, a journalist born and raised a Muslim in Turkey, is currently based in Washington D.C.

Dr. Daniel Pipes: Trump’s “extreme vetting” should include THESE questions

pipesThe Rebel, by Ezra Levant, February 11, 2017:

Trump has repeatedly promised that going forward, would-be immigrants would be subjected to “extreme vetting.” Dr. Daniel Pipes joins us to talk about his comprehensive list of suggested questions and methodology that he says the Trump administration could and should use during this process:

Study Reveals 72 Terrorists Came From Countries Covered by Trump Vetting Order

refugee-terrorismCenter for Immigration Studies, by Jessica Vaughan, February 11, 2017

A review of information compiled by a Senate committee in 2016 reveals that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump’s vetting executive order have been convicted in terror cases since the 9/11 attacks. These facts stand in stark contrast to the assertions by the Ninth Circuit judges who have blocked the president’s order on the basis that there is no evidence showing a risk to the United States in allowing aliens from these seven terror-associated countries to come in.

In June 2016 the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a report on individuals convicted in terror cases since 9/11. Using open sources (because the Obama administration refused to provide government records), the report found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born. The report is no longer available on the Senate website, but a summary published by Fox News is available here.

The Center has obtained a copy of the information compiled by the subcommittee. The information compiled includes names of offenders, dates of conviction, terror group affiliation, federal criminal charges, sentence imposed, state of residence, and immigration history.

The Center has extracted information on 72 individuals named in the Senate report whose country of origin is one of the seven terror-associated countries included in the vetting executive order: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Senate researchers were not able to obtain complete information on each convicted terrorist, so it is possible that more of the convicted terrorists are from these countries.

The United States has admitted terrorists from all of the seven dangerous countries:

  • Somalia: 20
  • Yemen: 19
  • Iraq: 19
  • Syria: 7
  • Iran: 4
  • Libya: 2
  • Sudan: 1
  • Total: 72

According to the report, at least 17 individuals entered as refugees from these terror-prone countries. Three came in on student visas and one arrived on a diplomatic visa.

At least 25 of these immigrants eventually became citizens. Ten were lawful permanent residents, and four were illegal aliens.

These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump’s order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.

Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Some opponents of the travel suspension have tried to claim that the Senate report was flawed because it included individuals who were not necessarily terrorists because they were convicted of crimes such as identity fraud and false statements. About a dozen individuals in the group from the seven terror-associated countries are in this category. Some are individuals who were arrested and convicted in the months following 9/11 for involvement in a fraudulent hazardous materials and commercial driver’s license scheme that was extremely worrisome to law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, although a direct link to the 9/11 plot was never claimed.

The information in this report was compiled by Senate staff from open sources, and certainly could have been found by the judges if they or their clerks had looked for it. Another example that should have come to mind is that of Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who attacked and wounded 11 people on the campus of Ohio State University in November 2016. Artan was a Somalian who arrived in 2007 as a refugee.

President Trump’s vetting order is clearly legal under the provisions of section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which says that the president can suspend the entry of any alien or group of aliens if he finds it to be detrimental to the national interest. He should not have to provide any more justification than was already presented in the order, but if judges demand more reasons, here are 72.

***

Also see:

American Security and Islamic Reform

muslims

The government must vet aliens for sharia-supremacist ideology.

National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy — February 11, 2017

‘Do you think Islam needs reform?”

Wouldn’t it be interesting, wouldn’t it get us to the crux of the immigration debate, if our best news anchors — I’m looking at you, Chris Wallace and Bret Baier — would put that question to every major politician in Washington?

Instead, the press is asking not just the wrong question but one that utterly misses the point, namely: “How many terrorist attacks have been committed by immigrants from this handful of Muslim-majority countries?” It is the same wrong question posed by the imperious federal judge in Seattle who suspended President Trump’s temporary travel ban on aliens from those countries — seven of them. It is the same wrong question that animated the incorrigible Ninth Circuit appeals court in upholding this suspension — and intimating along the way that Trump, and by implication all who fear for the future of our country, are anti-Muslim bigots crusading against religious liberty (the Ninth Circuit being notoriously selective when it comes to protecting religious traditions).

Does the Trump administration realize it’s the wrong question? I wonder. Instead of attacking the question’s premise, the administration undertakes to answer it. It seems not to grasp that the security argument is not advanced, much less won, by compiling a list of terrorist plots.

Let’s try this again.

Islam does need reform. This is critical to our national security for two reasons that bear directly on the question of which aliens should, and which should not, be allowed into our country.

First, reform is essential because the broader Islamic religion includes a significant subset of Muslims who adhere to an anti-American totalitarian political ideology that demands implementation of sharia — Islamic law. This ideology and the repressive legal code on which it rests are not religion. We are not talking about the undeniably theological tenets of Islam (e.g., the oneness of Allah, the acceptance of Mohamed as the final prophet, and the Koran as Allah’s revelation). We are talking about a framework for the political organization of the state, and about the implementation of a legal corpus that is blatantly discriminatory, hostile to liberty, and — in its prescriptions of crime and punishment — cruel.

Islam must reform so that this totalitarian political ideology, sharia supremacism (or, if you prefer, “radical Islam”), is expressly severable from Islam’s truly religious tenets. To fashion an immigration policy that serves our vital national security interests without violating our commitment to religious liberty, we must be able to exclude sharia supremacists while admitting Muslims who reject sharia supremacism and would be loyal to the Constitution.

Second, sharia supremacists are acting on a “voluntary apartheid” strategy of gradual conquest. You needn’t take my word for it. Influential sharia supremacists encourage Muslims of the Middle East and North Africa to integrate into Western societies without assimilating Western culture. The renowned Muslim Brotherhood jurist Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who vows that “Islam will conquer Europe, conquer America,” urges Muslim migrants to demand the right to live in accordance with sharia. Turkey’s sharia-supremacist president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, admonishes that pressuring Muslims to assimilate is “a crime against humanity.” The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim governments that purports to speak as a quasi-caliphate, promulgated its “Declaration of Human Rights in Islam” in 1990 — precisely because what the United Nations in 1948 presumptuously called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is neither “universal” nor suitable to a sharia culture.

Voluntary apartheid does not require insinuating terrorists into migrant populations. It requires insinuating assimilation-resistant migrant populations into Western countries. Those populations form sharia-supremacist enclaves, which (a) demand the autonomy to conduct their affairs under Islamic law as a challenge to the sovereign authority of the host country, and (b) become safe havens for incitement, radicalization, paramilitary training, fundraising, and jihadist conspiracy — the prerequisites for terrorism.

The problem is not that our “See No Islam” policies may be letting some small percentage of trained terrorists into the country (although that is certainly a problem). The main problem is that we are creating the conditions under which anti-American enclaves can take root, the Constitution can be undermined, and today’s young Muslim teenager becomes tomorrow’s radicalized jihadist.

RELATED: Weeding Out Terrorist Immigrants Isn’t Enough

We cannot grapple with these challenges if we are intimidated into silence by such questions as whether a “Muslim ban” is being proposed; whether heightened scrutiny would be tantamount to a “religion test”; how many refugees or aliens from this or that Muslim-majority country have been charged with terrorism crimes; whether Muslims would be disproportionately affected by immigration exclusions; and whether a ban on a few Muslim-majority countries can be justified if most Muslim-majority countries are exempted.

Such questions are designed to make vetting Muslims seem inconceivable. They are meant to exhaust you into conceding: “If we have to fret so mightily about the potential impact of immigration laws against Muslims, how could we possibly contemplate examining Muslims directly to sort out sharia supremacists from pro-American Muslims?” You are to pretend that there is no obvious subset of Muslims who are hostile to our country. You are to assume that screening for hostile Muslims would be illegal because to ask about Islam would offend religious liberty — but because you know there are hostile Muslims, you silently hope the authorities have figured out some sneaky, roundabout way to screen for them without appearing to screen for them.

Enough of that. We need to move beyond the “are we targeting Muslims” nonsense and get to the critical question: How do we embrace our Islamic friends while excluding our sharia-supremacist enemies?

Here’s a suggestion: Bring our Muslim friends, loud and proud, into the process.

The only people who may have more interest than we do in Islamic reform are Islamic reformers: courageous Muslims who embrace American constitutional principles of liberty and equality. And at great risk to themselves: Under the supremacist view of sharia, those who depart from Islamic-law principles set in stone a millennium ago are apostates, subject to the penalty of death. You’re not supposed to question that, though, because it’s, you know, “religion.”

How about we stop consulting with the Muslim Brotherhood and other sharia supremacists who tell us Islam is just fine as is, even as its aggressions mount? How about we bring the reformers very publicly into the vetting process, to help the administration tell the good guys from the bad guys? To help the administration show that it is not Muslims but anti-American totalitarians that we seek to exclude.

It is the reform Muslims who tell us that Islam can separate sharia from spiritual life and that pro-Western Muslims do exactly that. It is the sharia supremacists who are outraged by the very suggestion that reform is possible, let alone necessary. If we continue taking our cues from the latter, it means that their noxious political ideology is part and parcel of Islam, and therefore that screening to keep that ideology out of our country is a violation of First Amendment religious liberty.

In other words, if you’re unwilling to say that Islam needs reform, then we can’t vet . . . and we are doomed. On the other hand, if Islam does need reform, isn’t it imperative that we identify the Muslims who resist reform — the sharia supremacists who seek not to join but to radically change our free, constitutional society?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is as senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

The Ninth Circuit’s stolen sovereignty should serve as final wakeup call

Africa Studio | Shutterstock

Africa Studio | Shutterstock

“What it evidences is the deep and perhaps irremediable corruption of our legal culture’s conception of constitutional interpretation” ~ Justice Samuel Alito, (Obergefell v. Hodges, dissenting)

Conservative Review, by Daniel Horowitz, February 10, 2017:

Last night, we saw the logical outcome of over a half century of political agreement on the Right and Left that the opinions of the courts are the sole and final arbiter of every public policy issue, no matter how divorced from the Constitution and inimical to national interests those decisions may be.

The Ninth Circuit, although not “officially” deciding the merits of the immigration case, indicated that there is a constitutional right for anyone to immigrate, even during a time of war, even from countries we were so careful never to take immigrants from until recently. It concluded the president must show the courts sufficient evidence that each person will be a terrorist and anything short of that creates a due process right to be here.

It’s very important to remember that this is not about the executive action. President Trump’s executive order is following a statute, really a series of statutes, which grant any president ABSOLLUTE at-will power to shut off all or any immigration. According to the perverted rationale of the courts, even Congress couldn’t cut off immigration, even from part of the Middle East because it poses issues to the Left’s social justice agenda, which has been retroactively enshrined into the Constitution.

The outcome of this case is that even if Congress was to merely bar visas from countries that support terror (which is current law for state-sponsors of terror), that law would be open to lawsuits and would be enjoined nationwide by one district within one liberal circuit — and there’s not a darn thing we can do about it. It means any Islamic supremacist sitting in a shack in Somalia has due process rights to immigrate here and liberal states can sue on his behalf.  It means any Muslim in Syria can sue us if they believe a Christian was admitted as a refugee in front of them. After all, we already know that four of the justices on the Supreme Court will never defy any political agenda of the Left, and that Anthony Kennedy is terrible on immigration.

Those radicals breaking windows and beating people up in the streets? Those views are not only represented in Congress but are now codified into law and the Constitution by the misconceived supremacy of the judicial branch of government. As I predicted in my book, within a few years (perhaps less), there will be wholesale judicial amnesty for all of the illegal immigrants in this country under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. It’s already happening in the lower courts. Last night, it was codified into law by the Ninth Circuit when it said illegals have due process rights (to remain in the country).

So where does it say in the Constitution that there is a right for foreign nationals to immigrate, especially when courts have said the opposite for 200 years? It’s in the same clause as “separation of church and state,” gay marriage, sex change operations, and the right to 30 days of early voting.

It’s not worth re-litigating what is so obvious to a sane person and frankly what is obvious to these judges themselves. We’ve covered every aspect of this case in the following articles:

What I would like to focus on is the solution. In the coming days I plan to focus on the strategy of wholesale judicial reform as well as the need to continue the push for an Article V Convention of the States. But the first step is understanding the severity of the problem and to stop legitimizing the false premise that courts have the final say on political questions.  Let’s say this together: The federal judiciary is IRREMEDIABLY broken, and as witnessed by these cases, half the GOP judges are just as bad.

We must also stop legitimizing the notion that Congress doesn’t have full authority over the jurisdiction and structure of the courts.

Let me leave you with the following twisted irony.

Samuel Chase was one of first Supreme Court justices and one of the earliest supporters of judicial review (which is not synonymous with judicial exclusivity/supremacy). Chase was impeached, at the behest of President Jefferson, for using the court to advance his political agenda. Yet, even this judicial strongman of his day, when defending the original rationale for the power of judicial review against laws passed by legislatures, declared, “an act of the Legislature contrary to the great first principles of the social compact, cannot be considered a rightful exercise of legislative authority.” Chase believed the Court could strike down laws passed by Congress that violated the essence of the social compact and fundamental natural rights.

Fast-forward two centuries and we have unelected judges, not the legislature, violating the essence of the social compact by redefining marriage and gender itself (the ultimate natural law). Courts have violated the popular and jurisdictional sovereignty of our states and federal union in hamstringing the elected representatives from protecting us against those who come here without our consent and harm our society. The fact that any liberal state official can sue to bring in people who don’t share our values and might do us harm violates the very essence of the consent-based national sovereignty at the core of the social compact and at the foundation of why the Constitution gave national sovereignty questions to the national government. As Justice Scalia warned, we are suffering from social transformation without representation.

Until and unless we reclaim our sovereignty from the courts, we are no longer a sovereign nation.

Ryan Mauro on Trump’s Immigrant Ban

ryan-immigrant-ban-fox-640-320Clarion’s National Security Analyst weighs in on Fox News about President Trump’s temporary halt and the DHS secretary’s comments.