News and Commentary

How Did Trump Pick the Muslim Countries in His Executive Order? Obama Picked Them First

President Trump’s executive order regarding immigration and refugees has sparked a rebellion among both Democrats and Republicans. The EO, which caused chaos at airports across the country over the weekend, also led to high-profile protests.

Trump’s executive order could have been written and executed with precision and a meticulous attention to detail, instead, it was a butchered mess. As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro wrote: “This executive order should have been better thought out, run through the Office of Legal Counsel and in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security. It should have exempted people like translators for the US military. It shouldn’t have been applied to green card holders in the air. There should have been some age restrictions (children)…”

Trump’s EO has so far been an unmitigated fiasco–all, save the president’s most ardent supporters, admit to this. However, even before the EO was announced, accusations of racism and bigotry have been lobbed at Trump. When the list of the seven nations from which visas will be suspended was revealed, progressives had a collective rage-meltdown. Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen are all majority-Muslim nations.

Here’s the thing–Donald Trump wasn’t the first person to select these nations. According to MIC:

…the countries whose citizens are barred entirely from entering the United States is based on a bill that Obama signed into law in December 2015.

In 2015, then-President Obama signed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. This law made it through Congress with bipartisan support–though it was opposed by the ACLU. The law was designed to limit visa waivers for individuals visiting the U.S. for less than 90 days based on nationality and travel history:

At the initial signing of the restrictions, foreigners who would normally be deemed eligible for a visa waiver were denied if they had visited Iran, Syria, Sudan or Iraq in the past five years or held dual citizenship from one of those countries.

In February 2016, the Obama administration added Libya, Somali and Yemen to the list of countries one could not have visited — but allowed dual citizens of those countries who had not traveled there access to the Visa Waiver Program. Dual citizens of Syria, Sudan, Iraq and Iran are still ineligible, however.

From the United States Institute of Peace:

The change was first proposed by Congress to make it more difficult for terrorists who hold E.U. or other citizenships to enter the United States. House Resolution 158 passed 407 to 19 on December 8. Iranian officials condemned the bill even before President Obama signed it into law as part of a $1.1 trillion spending bill on December 18.

Despite the seven majority-Muslim nations being named under Obama, the racism accusations are coming fast and hard against Trump:

Where was the outrage from the progressive base when Obama signed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act? Where were the cries of “RACIST!” on social media? Where were the high-profile protests?

Those who dislike Trump will find a way to make him the enemy regardless of the accuracy of their claims. Islam is a faith, not a race–but it doesn’t matter. Trump’s a racist. Obama named the seven majority-Muslim nations as threats–but it doesn’t matter. Let’s protest President Trump.

Make no mistake; the creation and execution of the executive order was sloppy and foolish, but the condemnation from the protesters at JFK, as well as on social media, rings completely hollow because it has not been applied consistently.