January 30, 2017


One interesting game is developing in the early portion of '17: will my buddies be able to defend the latest action of President Trump? Will they last four years? Or will issue X be the thing to break them?

I'm seated and in a listening mood. I'll open with the suggestion that the EO in immigration was cruel, uneconomic, very poor politics -- and executed completely bone-headedly badly.

Green Card Holders? People with homes, family and dogs in the United States; people who were allowed to enter the country last Thursday cannot enter on Saturday? Charles Cooke of NR is a green card holder -- tell 'em about the un-vetted pathway to the US the program presents for terrorists Charlie:

Unlike, say, H1B-carriers, permanent residents are expected to live in America by default, and are in fact penalized if they don't. By law and by expectation, this country is their home; their base; the ground in which their roots are planted. Because of this, permanent residents are able to purchase, own, and carry firearms; they are required to register with the selective service; and they are treated for tax and welfare purposes as are U.S. citizens. They canít vote or serve on a jury, but, other than, they effectively enjoy all the liberties that natural born Americans enjoy. When they re-enter the country, the agent says "Welcome Home," which is a big change from their visa days. They are not Americans, and they mustn't pretend to be. But they are as close as one can get without being one.

Another game of '17 has been to shoot down the insane anti-Trumpers who post outrageous fabrications on Facebook to make the President look bad. I started to do this Saturday night. "OMG, he isn't keeping out people who belong here," sez me. "He's keeping out new people. I disagree profusely but he campaigned on it and yadda yadda..."

Oh? What's that? He is detaining green card holders? Women in Seatlle are told by their employer not to visit their parents in Canada for fear of being denied re-entry?

Kellyanne Conway points out that 300,000 people were not detained at the airport! Why look at all the black people who were not lynched in the Jim Crow Era!

I understand they are backing off the green-card bit. Good for them. But can any of our indefatigable defenders contradict Jonathan Adler?

Whatever one thinks of the underlying policy, the degree of administrative incompetence in its execution is jaw-dropping. Like Orin below, I think it's worth quoting this Benjamin Wittes post from the Lawfare blog:
The malevolence of President Trump's Executive Order on visas and refugees is mitigated chiefly--and perhaps only--by the astonishing incompetence of its drafting and construction.

Even the righties at Instapundit who welcome the restrictions are not pleased. The Professor links:
JOHN HINDERAKER: Is Trump's Immigration Order the Worst of Both Worlds? "President Trump is taking a lot of political heat, and therefore expending a considerable amount of political capital, for an immigration order that doesnít go far enough to be meaningful."

I don't think I want to know what the Powerline lads think is "far enough to be meaningful." But the President spent a lot of political capital this weekend (and why the hell was it on a weekend?) Did he get good value?

UPDATE: Never mind. I guess it is going well.

Trump Agonistes Posted by John Kranz at January 30, 2017 10:18 AM

I'll go first-

Has anyone actually READ the ACTUAL executive order, or is everyone reacting to all of the fallout? I sought it out this morning, on white house dot gov, but didn't find it. Instead, I found a link to it in an NRO piece defending Trump, indefatigably, by Andrew C. McCarthy. The order is reprinted by the (NY) Times. Some highlights:

Firstly, did anyone know that there has been a waiver program on the "requirement" that all visa applicants be interviewed face-to-face? I didn't.

"Sec. 8. Visa Interview Security. (a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions."

And then there's the "ban" language, "indefinitely" prohibiting the entry of all muslims. Err, all muslims from seven countries (seven countries named by congress AND the Obama Administration as dangerous.) But there are these exclusions from the "ban:"

(excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).

And this blanket exception:

(g) Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

And the "ban" is temporary: 90 days for regular visas and 120 days for the refugee program. More of a "specific suspension" than an "indefinite ban" if you asked me.

Might there be things they could have fine tuned, done differently, or implemented better? Sure. It's been one day! Can we give them a few more hours, at least, before drawing up articles of impeachment?

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2017 1:10 PM

That was yesterday. Today, McCarthy is defatigable. Or at the very least, Monday-morning quarterbacking.

I am sympathetic to the new Administration's motive to implement policy without timetables, which the enemy may exploit. Yes, they probably went too far in this case. So fix it and move on. Then implement the next "deplorable" policy quickly, so that this one fades from the headlines.

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2017 1:35 PM | What do you think? [2]