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Trump gets it right in targeting terrorism and immigration

I find it hard to believe that nearly a quarter of 2017 is already behind us, but it’s true to say that one of the hottest topics occupying the international and Australian media over the first few months of this year has been immigration, an issue which is of course close to my heart.

Much of that commentary has been sparked by the unprecedented media furore around the inauguration and ensuing actions of new US President Donald Trump.

Throughout the course of his presidential campaign, Trump put issues of immigration high on the agenda, making the construction of a “wall” between the US and Mexico a core promise, and repeatedly raising the idea of banning or restricting Muslims from migrating to America.

As a result, he naturally attracted the ridicule of the Left, but also criticism and suspicion from the Centre and significant sections of the Conservative commentariat.

Fast forward to January 2017, and the inauguration that most pundits never believed would happen had come to pass. In the days following Trump went about taking steps to enact those controversial pre-election immigration promises.

The newly-minted president started the ball rolling on construction of a physical barrier on the US border with Mexico, and he signed an executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - which the fledgling Trump administration had identified as having the potential to export terrorists to America.

Putting aside the merits of Trump’s criteria in picking these countries and not for instance Saudi Arabia, which produced most of the 9/11 terrorists and many more since, and notwithstanding the media backlash and subsequent litigation which prevented implementation of the executive order, it is worth taking a close and calm look at exactly what Trump says he was trying to achieve.

The intention of the January executive order is clearly stated: “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.”

There’s hardly any cause for outrage in that.

Trump was more emotive in his own statement when he pointed out that America is a proud nation of immigrants. “We will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border,” he said.

Trump went on to point out that his order was similar to the measures introduced by President Barrack Obama in 2011, when refugees from Iraq were denied visas for six months.

“To be clear,” the President added, “this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”

And to his credit, Trump is committed to the goal. After the legal challenge to his original order, on March 6 he issued a revised document which excluded “special case” Iraq. That directive, scheduled to come into effect on March 16, has also been slapped with a nationwide restraining order following a legal challenge by the state of Hawaii.

But let’s be clear about what Trump is trying to implement. It’s not a full stop to immigration from the now six countries. It is a reasonable and responsible 90-day pause to enable the government to review and put in place the most secure policies it can to ensure it is not allowing terrorists to become residents of the US.

Put simply, what Trump is trying to do is exercise the legal requirement and moral obligation he and the head of any government has to ensure the safety and freedom of their citizens.

Whatever you think of Trump’s bombastic rhetoric and crash or crash through approach to politicking, he is getting it right on this issue. In fact, if I were a US citizen I would be outraged if my government were NOT taking such steps.

Contact Liana Allan:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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  • Guest
    Noel Victor Comley MARN 9687072 Saturday, 18 March 2017

    Concerned Agent.

    Perhaps if you posted under your name you would have more credibility.

  • Guest
    C C W Friday, 17 March 2017

    Didn't hear the wolves howling when a more left wing opinion about Trump was put out by the Convenor:

  • Guest
    Indra Wald. Anon RMA Indian Friday, 17 March 2017

    I agree with Liana. I am an RMA with Indian descent. My family were killed by Muslim terrorists. Try living it first and then once you have lived my life without your family, then ask someone to apologise for supporting border protection and counter-terrorism. I can bet the silent majority agree with Liana but are too afraid to say so because people like Shane and Scott (above comments) will throw mud at them for their honest opinion. Better to stay silent and vote on polling day than to be honest like Liana. No wonder Trump got in. Americans were sick of the bullshit PC of staying silent in the face of problems.
    I have been a member of Migration Alliance for many years. Liana is not speaking for Migration Alliance. It is clear she speaks for herself here. I can see here that people like to play judge but don't ever want to do anything to contribute. Shane, Scott....others who want to throw stones .....what did you ever do for Migration Alliance besides criticise on the blog?

  • Guest
    Black Dahlia Friday, 17 March 2017

    Liiana you are a legend glad a high profile person expressed a view publicly !!
    Anti Trump leftist propaganda is at fever pitch . I just cannot watch any news any more . The Blair /Howard/Bush war in the middle east and its horrendous consequences are ignored by the media . Obama deported just under 2.5 million illegals and over stayers in his term in office. Where is the media balance ??

  • Michael Arch
    Michael Arch Friday, 17 March 2017

    Just for purposes of clarity, as readers will be aware I am a very active contributor to this site and am highly appreciative of Liana's energy and initiative in founding Migration Alliance and her boundless enthusiasm and support for the migration profession and for migrant rights.

    Likewise, I respect everyone's right to state their opinions, even if I may disagree - which in this case, I do, most strenuously.

    I am, as readers will also be aware, a dual Australian/US citizen and as readers will have also noted from the comments in my articles, I most heartily oppose Mr Trump in every possible way, and in particular the most recent Executive Order which has now been stayed by the Federal Circuit Court in Hawaii.

    While there appear to be many in the US who appear to support this Executive Order, I must categorically do not, and would be heartbroken and dismayed to see Australia follow in Trump's footsteps.

    Let there be no mistake: This Executive Order is, pure and simple, a ban on Muslim immigration into the United States. It has a discriminatory purpose, as was plainly found by the Federal Circuit Court. The EO was another effort to follow Trump's instructions to Rudy Giuliani to find a way to "make a ban on Muslim entry to the United States legal". It follows on public pronouncements by Trump and other members of his administration to impose a ban on Muslim immigration.

    It must be noted that there is not a shred, not a scintilla, not an iota, no evidence at all, that anyone from any of the 6 countries subject to this ban has committed an act of terror in the United States since 9/11. Repeat: none. This EO has nothing to do with protecting the United States from terrorism, and everything to do with stirring up hatred and prejudice among the American public to advance Trump's misconceived agendas.

    For those who follow the news closely: Steve Bannon, one of Trump's senior advisers, is a promoter of the "alt-Right", and a supporter of white supremacist and anti-Semitic organisations in the US. Bannon has an agenda to "make America white again" by barring people of non-European backgrounds from immigrating to the US.

    Both America and Australia have proud histories of non-discriminatory migration policies.

    Both countries have historically welcomed and celebrated migration from all corners of the world, providing refuge from those fleeing war and persecution, and honouring diversity and multi-culturalism.

    What Trump is attempting through these utterly illegal and misconceived Executive Orders, in my personal opinion, is a radical departure from American traditions of liberty, toleration, respect for human rights and international law, and is thus one to be deeply deeply regretted.

  • Guest
    Noel Victor Comley MARN 9687072 Saturday, 18 March 2017

    I know that thw DIBP official line, at least the Australian part, is as you say: "Both America and Australia have proud histories of non-discriminatory migration policies" however as a RMA since 1996 I do not believe it is so.
    Australia does discriminate between countries where considered necessary, in my opinion, and usually not without reason.

  • Guest
    Chen RMA Friday, 17 March 2017

    And there it is! Two board members with opposing views who still respect one another. Now what? Do we expect to see those on the right attacking Michael Arch? Both views are fine.

  • Guest
    Concerned agent Friday, 17 March 2017

    It is very difficult to attack a reasoned argument; it takes intelligence and effort. Much easier to play on fears and prejudices. Unfortunately demagogues are triumphing in the current climate.

    Again a shameful article.

  • Guest
    Viren Shekahwat Friday, 17 March 2017

    I completelty agee with you Allan, but some radicals taking advantage of this policy and making racist attacks towards migrants thinking all migrats are muslims and expectingTrump will save them from arrest or punisment.

  • Guest
    Jill Friday, 17 March 2017

    And I love that my comments don't appear.

  • Liana - Allan
    Liana - Allan Friday, 17 March 2017

    Can you please identify yourself in full? It is very easy to be a keyboard warrior and be anonymous, expecting criticism to be released immediately onto the blog. Who are you? If you have something to say, or have an opinion....tell me who you are. Don't sit behind a screen and hide behind a fake name. Be like me. Be brave!

  • Guest
    Noel Victor Comley MARN 9687072 Saturday, 18 March 2017

    Well said Liana, well said.

  • Guest
    Libby Hogarth Friday, 17 March 2017

    well said Michael Arch.

  • Guest
    Chile Friday, 17 March 2017

    Hi Liana,

    I respect your right to an opinion.

    I also respect fundamental freedoms and rights, and everything that Lincoln stood for. I'm not afraid to call out discriminatory policies and laws when I see them. This is my opinion.

    Great to see Michael weighing in on this as well. My three siblings who are American citizens share the same view as him, and by default I tend to agree. However, at the end of the day, no matter what opinion we all hold, Trump is the President-Elect of the United States, and he is doing what he feels is in the best interest of America at large.

    Thanks for your insight.

  • Guest
    Adolph Yang Friday, 17 March 2017

    I totally agree with you. I also believe that Australia should only accept migrants who love Australia and accept the fact that English is the language of the country. In my opinion the Value Statement in visa application forms should mean what it is. if there is strong evidence a new migrant has no intention to honour what he/she promised in the Value Statement, it can be a reason for his/her PR be cancelled.

  • Guest
    Frank Lanza Friday, 17 March 2017

    I find it a bit strange that no one as yet mentioned the fact that under the principle of separation of powers (also known as the Westminster principele) any law passed by congress or executive order of the President of the USA is subject to judicial scrutiny by the Supreme Court to ensure it does not infringe the Constitution of that country. To criticize the Judiciary as President Trump is doind no more than insulting them for doing their job. Judges find those kind of critics cowards simply because they take avantage of the fact that judges are not allowed to criticize the law makers. Thie job is to interpret the law and they do so to the best of their ability. Of course they cannot all be unanimous in their interpretation of the law but that is compensated by the fact that Courts of last resort are usually composed of an uneven number of Judges. In the case of the USA Supreme Court there are usually nine of them.
    Liana's opinions expressed in her article appear to ignore all together the role of the Judiciary in Trump's executive orders (first and second). It is almost as saying, with due respect, that his executive order does need judicial scrutiny to be turned into law.
    I found an interesting article on the internet written by Richard Primus, professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School. It gives his opinion in relation to the legality under the Consitution of the USA of the two executive orders:
    "Version 2.0 of President Donald Trump’s travel ban was written to solve a specific problem: The federal courts were poised to hold the first version unconstitutional. But it’s not at all clear that the new order will survive judicial scrutiny, either.
    Yes, Monday’s revised executive order suspending the entry of refugees and restricting entry by people from six Middle Eastern countries is more carefully crafted than its Jan. 26 predecessor. Some of the changes, like the exemptions for children and for people who already have visas, will likely obviate some constitutional objections to the earlier order. But the darkest constitutional shadow hanging over the first travel ban hangs over the second one as well. If the current order is motivated by anti-Muslim prejudice, it violates constitutional guarantees of religious freedom, equal protection of the laws, or both.
    To be sure, it would be highly unusual for the courts to strike down an executive order as purposefully discriminatory. For one thing, federal courts almost never strike down any sort of federal enactment on that ground, if only because federal courts—composed of people nominated by presidents and confirmed by senators—tend to have roughly the same mainstream intuitions about what counts as objectionable discrimination that the federal government’s lawmakers have. (The laws that get struck down as purposefully discriminatory are overwhelmingly state laws, usually from states where the relevant norms don’t quite line up with nationally predominant intuitions.)
    Courts are also loath to second-guess executive branch decisions in the realms of national security and foreign affairs. But everything about this case is already highly unusual. The order’s history betrays the discriminatory purposes that today’s revised version is intended to conceal, and some of the new order’s particular content points in the same direction. As the courts will surely understand.
    Consider the history first. Trump ran an overtly xenophobic campaign, one that prominently featured a ban on Muslims entering the country. Federal judges know that as well as anyone else, and they know it regardless of who appointed them. Several district courts and then the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit quickly diagnosed the Jan. 26 order as probably motivated by anti-Muslim prejudice. Rather than trying to salvage that order, the administration has replaced it with Monday’s version, which is a bit cleaned up and which explicitly denies any anti-Muslim motivations. But maybe all the administration is doing is creating a veneer. Maybe the underlying purpose is still the same.
    How Trump's new travel ban targets the whole world
    Consider this brief parable: I overhear my three kids plotting to raid the chocolate stash that I keep on a high shelf in the pantry. I don’t intervene yet; I want to see what develops. Five minutes later, I find them in the pantry with a stepstool. I tell them I know what they’re up to and that they need to cut it out, and they retreat, stepstool in tow. Then, 30 minutes later, I notice someone walking quietly toward the pantry with the stepstool again. But this time it’s a little different. For one thing, only two of my kids are participating. For another, they have their coats on. When they see me, they explain they’re not actually going to the pantry. They’re taking the stepstool outside to try to get a ball that’s lodged in the evergreen tree. Do I take their word for it? Or do I have good reason to think that their purpose is the same as it was the first time?
    If I weren’t sure, here are some things I might want to know. How did they talk about this project when I wasn’t the audience? And by the way, is there in fact a ball stuck in the evergreen tree outside?
    The analogous inquiries could go badly for the Trump administration. For starters, the text of the executive order disavows any focus on barring Muslims in particular, but a Trump fundraising email announcing the order to the president’s supporters spoke specifically of the threat of “radical Islamic terrorism” and named no other kind. In other words, the administration wants to tell the courts that the order isn’t aimed at Muslims in particular and at the same time to boast to its contributors that it is taking action to meet a particularly Muslim problem.
    Next, when the order describes the terrorism threat the travel restrictions are meant to combat, it speaks of “hundreds of persons born abroad [who] have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States,” some number of them refugees. But it cites only two examples: one case involving two Iraqi nationals and one case involving a Somali native, now an adult, who came to America as a child. The order in its current form would have done nothing at all to reduce terrorism in the first case, because the current version does not cover Iraqis. The order might not have done anything in the second case either, because in its current version the order authorizes waivers in cases involving children.
    In short, the order does nothing to explain why it targets the people it targets—let alone why it pays no attention to non-Muslim countries such as Colombia and Venezuela that the State Department classifies as “terrorist safe havens.” The mismatch between the administration’s claim that the order is a reasoned attempt to meet a terrorist threat and the order’s actual policy raises a suspicion that its ostensible purpose is a pretext for something else—sort of like the suspicion I’d have about my kids’ cover story if there were in fact no ball lodged in my evergreen tree, or maybe if there were a ball in the tree but far too high up for the stepstool to be a reasonable solution.
    Sometimes it’s possible to mask an illicit purpose, especially when courts are inclined to be deferential. But when courts defer to executive officials or legislatures, giving them the benefit of the doubt, they often know they’re looking the other way. At the very least, they’re deciding not to look too closely. But as the pretextual nature of the explanation for an unconstitutional policy becomes more blatant, it’s harder and harder for judges to look the other way without seeming like chumps. (If you exceed the speed limit by a few miles an hour as you pass a roadside cop with a speed gun, the cop might let it slide. But if you actually pass a moving police cruiser that is driving the speed limit, you’ll pay for the insult.)
    If there is one federal judge who is particularly annoyed by people who he thinks are playing him for a fool, it’s probably Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Justice Kennedy is in any case less prone than most of his colleagues to defer to legislative or executive officials; he tends to be supremely confident in his own decision-making capacity. And if he thinks that someone is trying to sneak something past him, he feels the insult. You can’t speed past the cop car Kennedy is driving and then tell him to trust your speedometer more than his own. So if this new order winds up in front of the Supreme Court, it will face a swing justice who may not be inclined to look the other way.
    In the end, the administration’s deepest constitutional problem in this affair is entirely straightforward. The order is in fact animated by prejudice, and pretty much everyone knows it. To be sure, there’s no guarantee of how the judiciary will ultimately rule on this order; as with so much else just now, we are in uncharted waters. But when a powerful person in the public eye does something that he promised to do, the way that his organization executes the task will leave telltale signs about its motives. Our actions do usually have some connection to our actual intentions, after all. And if those intentions were previously announced, it’s harder to convince people that they aren’t seeing what it looks like they’re seeing."

    Reply Cancel
  • Liana - Allan
    Liana - Allan Friday, 17 March 2017

    Thank you, Frank. I very much appreciate your opinion and feedback.

  • Guest
    Black Dahlia Friday, 17 March 2017

    Was Hillary ever a better alternative?? Her failures in diplomacy lead to the rise of ISIL in Libya, Iraq and Syria . The US has voted . The mad left and the global elite cannot change an election result no matter how loud they are. Where was the outrage and media protest when Blair/Bush/Howard unleashed a blood bath in the middle east ????

  • Guest
    L Geronimo Friday, 17 March 2017

    Well at least liana got us all bloody talking! Hello agents! Nice to know you all exist in real life.

  • Guest
    Nothingness - then the opinion! RMA Rebel Friday, 17 March 2017

    Everyone calm down. Liana had an opinion. It's ok. We can all cope. It's not my opinion but it is an actual opinion, nonetheless in our sea of migration agent nothingness.

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