Travel Ban 2.0: Same Old, Same Old

Once More, With Failing

Politics Features Donald Trump
Travel Ban 2.0: Same Old, Same Old

The travel ban? Same meat, less sauce.

Remember when the President, after getting humiliated by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court, screamed SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE! For a man who always loses in court, these were strange words. Naturally, he behaved like a rational grown-up would.

And then … nothing. He didn’t go to court. What happened to that? What happened to winning? Is this what winning looks like? Is this how you win? Because it looks just like losing.

The answer was revealed March 6: he has decided to try again. A revised version of the travel ban came down from the Beltway on Monday. What can we make of it?

The Atlantic reports that:

The new order, which goes into effect one minute after midnight on March 16, prohibits entry into the United States for citizens of six countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—for 90 days for those who do not already hold a valid visa. New visas will not be issued and expired visas will not be renewed for citizens from the six countries during the 90-day period.

The Trumpministration has given the world a diet version of its disputed travel ban, but it’s the same wine in new bottles. Not even new bottles, just the old bottles with scotch tape over the side with the misspelled word “FAIR” … with the R drawn backwards with a permanent marker.

The travel ban is a joke, and will remain so. This is the same unfortunate collection of delusions which previously drove this President and his merry crew down the rabbit hole of unconstitutional overreaching. How humiliating that must have been, and it will probably hurt the second time too, whenever the court gets around to ruling you out.

Not much has changed. The travel ban is trying to fly below the radar. Ironically, the travel ban is doing the very thing it’s accusing immigrants of doing: sneaking in under the cover of night. The first order cut the number of refugee arrivals in half: from 110,000 to 50,000. You can’t do that without Congress. The ban still imposes unfair restrictions. It still goes beyond the law.

Not only is the ban dumb and unconstitutional, it fails to deliver on what it promises to do—deliver security. David Cole, executive director for the ACLU, writes:

Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security recently concluded that an individual’s “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity” and that “few of the impacted countries [under the EO] have terrorist groups that threaten the West.” Third, on February 21, White House advisor Stephen Miller explained that any changes to the first executive order would be “mostly minor, technical differences ….Fundamentally, you are still going to have the same, basic policy outcome for the country.”

The maddest thing about the travel ban is that it solves nothing, does nothing, achieves nothing. Mr. President, if you really cared about fighting terrorism, you might expand your notion of terrorism to include the people who commit acts of violence against helpless people, like Adam Purinton, who allegedly shot two Indian engineers in a bar. If blocking terrorists by their country of origin worked, then perhaps you should consider blocking Americans, since we seem to kill our fellow citizens more often than other nationalities kill us. But you don’t really care for facts, do you?

You might also conclude, while you’re looking at the real world—something you need to do more of, by the way—that immigrating into this country is already basically impossible the way things are, and that even under the best possible conditions, immigrants are checked twelve ways from Sunday.

You cannot make blanket denunciations of persons because they come from a particular country. The travel ban 2.0 is the same old song and dance as ever, just dressed up differently. The spirit of the ban has not changed, and the heartlessness behind the ban has not changed.

You don’t get to say “This time we’re adult about it, we promise. This time we’ve done our homework.” The Hill reports:

[The ban] gives customs agents, travelers, airlines and airports over a week to prepare for the changes. The 10-day window is likely designed to help ensure a smoother rollout this time around. The initial order took force immediately, which contributed to some of the chaos and uproar, as many airlines, officials and even Republican lawmakers were caught off guard.

The key sentence here is the last one: “officials and even Republican lawmakers were caught off guard.” Not we tried something immoral and unconstitutional, and we realize our fault. No, this is more “we didn’t give our allies enough time.”

You really don’t get it, do you? Didn’t you guys humiliate yourselves enough with a lame rollout of a bad law the first time around? Apparently not. You think it’s the courts or the libs handing you your ass, but it’s just the world talking back to you.

You didn’t learn your lesson. The White House will now attempt to do again what should never have been done in the first place. You don’t get a do-over. This isn’t like bankruptcy, Donald.

We see you. We know what you’re doing. Shabby, all too shabby.

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