David Milliband opined in an opinion piece for CNN that “Trump’s travel ban is a propaganda gift for jihadists.” He went on to further describe that “It caused humanitarian chaos – children denied entry into the United States for medical treatment and staff supporting US Embassy personnel in Iraq losing their chance to come” and then stated that “The beneficiaries of this policy have been extremists, who can now say across the Muslim world: ‘The US will never help you.” I have several issues with his alarmist rant.
- For the 7 billionth time it is not a BAN. It is a temporary pause on immigration from 7 specific countries. Why these countries because there are issues with the underlying systems and infrastructure that allow the US to adequately identify and vet the people who are coming from these regions. This pause does not discriminate against based upon religion as it applies to all people living in these countries. The fact that they are Muslim majority countries has nothing to do with their selection; the fact that there are plenty of terrorists residing in these countries who would like nothing better than to come to the US and kill Americans does. There are still plenty of Muslim countries where there were no additional restrictions place. In 2011 President Obama used a similar strategy, but of course I do not see David Milliband forewarning Obama about starting in the next jihadist recruitment ad.
- Children need medical attention and staff supporting US Embassy personnel is the exception not the rule. Yes there are women and children among those fleeing what are countries that are stuck in the suck, but there are also plenty of military age males in that population as well. I will skip over his sexist argument that is implied that women cannot be jihadist terrorists and focus on the military age male dilemma because you guessed it most jihadist terrorists would fall into this category. A 2015 Time magazine article reported that “…according to the United Nations refugee agency… About 62% of all migrants that traveled to Europe this year, however, are men. A little under a quarter, 22%, are children and only 16% are women.” I will grant our current numbers do not reflect this in the US, but we have also taken in significantly less of these refugees than Europe. The issue is even at a split of 50/50 that is still a large population that ISIS has stated categorically that they will infiltrate. The US has a duty and obligation to create a vetting system that can separate this population into two categories, those that love America and want to come here for the opportunity and those that would attack us. It is perfectly reasonable that we pause the system while we work this issue out; after all you do not change the tires on your car while the car is going down the freeway.
- Milliband would have you believe that this Executive Order signed by President Trump is wildly unpopular, however he only cites the Gallup poll. He of course is ignoring that even Slate had to report that Reuters/Iposs and Rasmussen both found the exact opposite to be true. One could argue on question basis and political affiliations of sample weights, but I find when polls differ vastly that I can usually take all into account and split the difference. Gallup found 42% Approve, 55% Oppose, while Reuters found 48% Approve, 41 Oppose and Rasmussen found 56% Approve and 33% Oppose. This would average out to a 48% Approval for the Executive Order and 43% Opposed which is probably pretty close to the mark.
- His main argument is the one that I find the most troubling. He cites “Former jihadists have told CNN that ISIS will use the travel ban as a recruitment tool, ‘making it clear to anyone in doubt that it’s a war on Islam and all Muslims.’ Also troubling, Trump is already being featured in propaganda videos, fueling the belief that Americans fear Muslims for the sole reason they are Muslim.” There is a lot to unpack in this statement. First by not throwing open the doors to our country and welcoming all refugees of Muslim faith we are creating more jihadist terrorists. If that was the case then we should not restrict travel at all least we create one individual in the world that hates the US. Wait people who hate the US already exist and that is the cause for the pause and vetting retooling. CNN and other mainstream media outlets playing a game of semantics by continuously calling it a Muslim ban, when it is not, are probably being featured in every recruitment video being put together as we speak, while the elected leader of the free world making an appearance in those same videos is nothing new. If people are going to turn to terrorism because they were inconvenienced then we have to ask are these the people we want coming to America? If their resolve to stand for freedom and opportunity that is the American dream is derailed by the additional time spent getting our house in order to welcome them properly, then we have to ask if these are the citizens that will stand with us down the line when our freedoms are threatened.
Pew Research found that leading the Public Policy Priorities for 2017 was Terrorism at 73%. Keeping America safe from those that would do us harm concerns every American. Many continue to push for more refugees despite homeless epidemics is several cities, rampant joblessness among our veterans and soaring national debt. We have plenty of issues that need solving and it is acceptable that Americans wonder if we are going to address these domestic issues with the same aggressiveness that many on the Left have lobbied for refugees. America should not be shamed into accepting refugees when there are many Muslim countries that have accepted very few or none of the Syrian refugees. If this is a world crisis then we all need to bear the burden of finding a solution and plucking refugees from the country of their birth and dropping them in unfamiliar American cities should be the exception and not the rule. For those seeking to live in America it should be to them worth the wait.