As promised in his campaign, President Donald Trump has issued an executive order that would temporarily ban immigrants and refugees from seven countries that are hotbeds for terrorism. Some have responded with panic and condemnation. His initiative is being branded as racist. But what do the facts say? Is Trump’s immigration order really racist?
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote, “As the Statue of Liberty holds her torch of welcome high, there are tears in her eyes as she sees how low this Administration has stooped in its callousness toward mothers and children escaping war-torn Syria. This Administration has mistaken cruelty for strength and prejudice for strategy.”
Dara Land of Vox compares Trump’s action to immigration policies of World War II, when “America didn’t feel strongly enough about the mistreatment of Jews to allow them to find a safe harbor in the U.S.”
But here are the facts.
1. Jewish WWII refugees didn’t support terrorism.
The reference to the Holocaust has been repeated ad nauseam on social media, as if these two situations are identical. But Jews fleeing Germany didn’t want to kill Americans and they didn’t support Nazism. By comparison, 13 percent of Syrian refugees say they support ISIS.
2. The refugee flow into Europe has brought horrible results.
Last year, in England and Wales, police arrested 900 Syrians for crimes that included rape and child abuse. In Germany, migrants were linked to 69,000 crimes in the first quarter of 2016. Another report shows that refugees committed 92,000 more crimes in 2015 than the year before.
3. The ban is only temporary.
Trump’s plan would last just three or four months. And it allows for numerous exceptions. The Huffington Post accused Trump of targeting Muslims, yet nowhere does the order mention any ethnic race. These countries include a variety of religions, cultures, and ethnicities.
4. The government’s job is to look out for Americans.
Religious groups that work with refugees are calling the order “disgusting” and “vile,” citing the biblical book of Leviticus as a directive for U.S. history. What they miss is that the U.S. government is not the church. It doesn’t form policy around biblical teachings regarding ancient Israel or the New Testament church. The job of the U.S. government is to protect the interests and safety of Americans, not abide by biblical doctrine regarding the treatment of aliens in the ancient nation of Israel.
The fact is, Trump is improving security screening and intends to admit refugees at close to the average rate of the 15 years before Obama’s dramatic expansion in 2016. The data is clear: Obama’s expansion was a departure from recent years, not Trump’s contraction.
About the Author
D.C. McAllister is a cultural and political commentator based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a senior contributor to The Federalist.