Saturday, January 28, 2017

Refugees Detained At U.S. Airports

Legal Challenges Filed, Customs & Border Patrol Agents Overwhelmed:
President Trump’s executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees was put into immediate effect Friday night. Refugees who were in the air on the way to the United States when the order was signed were stopped and detained at airports.
The detentions prompted legal challenges as lawyers representing two Iraqis held at Kennedy Airport filed a writ of habeas corpus early Saturday in the Eastern District of New York seeking to have their clients released. At the same time, they filed a motion for class certification, in an effort to represent all refugees and immigrants who they said were being unlawfully detained at ports of entry.
Mr. Trump’s order, which suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, created a legal limbo for individuals on the way to the United States and panic for families who were awaiting their arrival.
Mr. Trump’s order also stops the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely, and it bars entry into the United States for 90 days from seven predominantly Muslim countries linked to concerns about terrorism. Those countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Interestingly, all countries with whom Trump has no business ties. The countries he does do business in, with large Muslim populations and who directly were responsible for 9/11 (e.g. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates,  Egypt and Lebanon) are exempt from the ban. 

Shocking, I know.
Trump said, in the ABC interview, that the people to be barred “are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems.” He declared: “They’re ISIS.”
Actually, they're Google; like 200 employees who can no longer come back to work.
Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai criticized President Donald Trump’s immigration order in an email to staff late Friday, saying the U.S. ban on foreign nationals from seven countries affects at least 187 Google employees.
Meanwhile, stories of Customs and Border Protection agents dissing Trump keep pouring in.
“Who is the person we need to talk to?” asked one of the lawyers, Mark Doss, supervising attorney at the International Refugee Assistance Project.
“Mr. President,” said a Customs and Border Protection agent, who declined to identify himself. “Call Mr. Trump.”
The executive order, which Mr. Trump said was part of an extreme vetting plan to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” also established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations: He ordered that Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims.
Asking our Customs and Border Protection agents to administer religious tests (the likes of which can't even really be determined, other than, what, an oath of loyalty to Christianity?) adds another layer of insanity to an already insane and irrational order.

I'm sure this ban will be struck down in the courts relatively quickly, and regardless, it supposedly expires in 120 days. But this is just the beginning of what the so-called "hurting middle-America Trump supporters" voted for.

Elections have consequences. Bigly. Get ready for even more of the same.

UPDATE: This NYT article cites the research of a sociologist at UNC Chapel Hill, who breaks down the "threat" posed by these so-called "radical Islamic terrorists" who might be coming into the U.S.
By Mr. Kurzman’s count, 123 people have been killed in the United States by Muslim terrorists since the 2001 attacks — out of a total of more than 230,000 killings, by gang members, drug dealers, angry spouses, white supremacists, psychopaths, drunks and people of every description. So the order addresses, at most, one-1,870th of the problem of lethal violence in America. If the toll of Sept. 11 is included, jihadists still account for just over 1 percent of killings.

“My advice to the new administration would be to declare victory,” Mr. Kurzman said. For the average American, he added, “your odds of being victimized by a terrorist attack are infinitesimal.”
I know we're living in a supposedly post-fact world these days, but facts are stubborn things.

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