FPI Resources on Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees

January 31, 2017

On Friday, President Trump issued an executive order that would bar refugees’ admission into the United States for 120 days, and would halt travel from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia for 90 days while the U.S. government reviews its admission procedures. The White House drafted the executive order without consulting either the secretaries of defense and homeland security­ or key leaders in Congress. The ambiguity of the order has sown confusion at airports across the nation and led both to disputes within the administration and intervention by federal judges.
The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is closely monitoring this situation, and believes the following resources will be helpful in understanding the content and consequences of the president’s decision.

Trump’s Refugee Bonfire – Editorial – The Wall Street Journal – January 30, 2017

“Mr. Trump campaigned on a promise of ‘extreme vetting’ for refugees from countries with a history of terrorism, and his focus on protecting Americans has popular support. But his refugee ban is so blunderbuss and broad, and so poorly explained and prepared for, that it has produced confusion and fear at airports, an immediate legal defeat, and political fury at home and abroad.”

How Trump’s Rush to Enact an Immigration Ban Unleashed Global ChaosThe New York Times – January 30, 2017

“Jim Mattis, the new secretary of defense, did not see a final version of the order until Friday morning, only hours before Mr. Trump arrived to sign it at the Pentagon… [Mattis] was not consulted by the White House during the preparation of the order and was not given an opportunity to provide input while the order was being drafted. Last summer, Mr. Mattis sharply criticized Mr. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration as a move that was ‘causing us great damage right now, and it’s sending shock waves through the international system.’”

More Republicans Chastise Trump Over Executive OrderPolitico – January 29, 2017

“Key allies and powerful political players broke their silence Sunday to criticize Trump's executive order. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), whom Trump considered picking to be his running mate and, later, secretary of state, called on the president to immediately retool the order. ‘We all share a desire to protect the American people, but this executive order has been poorly implemented, especially with respect to green card holders,’ Corker said in a statement.”

Trump’s Order on Refugees: Mostly Right on Substance, Wrong on Rollout – Editorial – National Review Online – January 29, 2016

“Most of this confusion could have been avoided if the White House had slowed down, taken time to brief the officials responsible for carrying out the order, and ensured that the legal details were airtight. Instead, it seems that White House political advisers overrode cautions from DHS lawyers and pushed the order forward, to their own detriment. The country is now embroiled, once again, in spectacular protests, and reasonable policy has been drowned in outrage. The White House’s approach here has probably damaged future efforts in this area.”

Abandoning the Bravest – Max Boot – Commentary – January 30, 2017

“No adjustment [to the executive order] has yet been made for Iraqis and Afghans who served this country and are the most deserving, admirable, and reliable refugees one could possibly admit. One of these men, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who had spent ten years working for U.S. troops in Iraq at considerable risk to his life, was detained in handcuffs for 19 hours at John F. Kennedy Airport before finally being released. Amazingly, he had not a single bad word to say about America, a country that has treated him shabbily. ‘America is the greatest nation, the greatest people in the world,’ he told reporters.’”

Holocaust Exploitation – FPI Fellow Jamie Kirchick – Tablet – January 30, 2017

“The half a million Syrians who have perished over the past five years are not dead because of nativist American conservatives or Frauke Petry, Nigel Farage, or Marine Le Pen, odious as they all are. They were murdered by Bashar al-Assad’s barrel bombs, his chemical weapons attacks, and in his torture chambers, with the connivance of the regimes in Tehran and Moscow.”

White House: Trump Mentions Building Syrian ‘Safe Zones’ During Calls with Leaders of Saudi Arabia and Abu DhabiWashington Post – January 29, 2017

“In calls with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi on Sunday afternoon, the White House says President Trump brought up the idea of building “safe zones” in Syria. That concept appeared in early drafts of the executive order the president signed Friday that barred all Syrian refugees from resettling in the United States — but it did not appear in the final version that was released Friday night.”

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The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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