Obama’s administration made the “Muslim ban” possible and the media won’t tell you

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN

I was outraged by the ban on refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East. I’ve covered refugees fleeing war in Iraq and Syria over the last two years, meeting families on the road in Greece, Serbia and Macedonia, speaking to poor people in Turkey and Jordan and discussing the hopes and fears of people displaced in Iraq. If you want to ban “terrorists,” these are the last people to hit with a refugee ban. Instead the government should be using the best intelligence possible to find people being radicalized, some of whom have lived in the US their whole lives or who come from countries not affected by the ban, such as Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

So I was outraged, and then I read the executive order. There are many full texts of the order online, such as at CNN, the NYT, the WSJ or Independent.  According to most reports Trump was banning “nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days.” This bars people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. US Senator Elizabeth Warren said “Let’s be clear: A Muslim ban by any other name is still a Muslim ban,” and Senator Chris Murphy claimed “Trump has now handed ISIS a path to rebirth.”  Media, such as Vox and the Independent, compared the ban to banning Jews from entry during the Holocaust and bashed Trump for singing the order on Holocaust memorial day. World leaders are “condemning Trump’s Muslim ban,” according to headlines.

I had to see for myself, so I read the executive order.  The order does seek “to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States.” It says that it seeks “Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern.” It also says “I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order.”  And it targets Syrians specifically. “I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.”

But, wait a sec. According to the reports “The order bars all people hailing from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.” Critics had attacked Trump for selecting these seven countries and not selecting other states “linked to his sprawling business empire.” Bloomberg and Forbes bought into this.

But, wait a sec. I read the order and Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen are not mentioned in it. 

Go back and read it again. Do a “ctrl-f” to find “Iraq”. Where is “Iraq” in the order. It’s not there. Only Syria is there. So where are the seven nations? Where is the “Muslim ban”? It turns out this was a form of fake news, or alternative facts. Trump didn’t select seven “Muslim-majority” countries. US President Barack Obama’s administration selected these seven Muslim-majority countries. 

The Department of Homeland Security targeted these seven countries over the last years as countries of concern. In February 2016 “The Department of Homeland Security today announced that it is continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 with the addition of Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as three countries of concern, limiting Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals who have traveled to these countries.” It noted “the three additional countries designated today join Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria as countries subject to restrictions for Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals.” It was the US policy under Obama to restrict and target people “who have been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).” This was text of the US Customs and Border Protection in 2015 relating to “the Visa Waiver Program and Terrorist Travel Protection Act of 2015“. The link even includes the seven nation list in it: “Iraq, Syria, Iran, SUdan, Somalia or Yemen.”  And the media knew this back in May 2016 when some civil rights groups complained about it. “These restrictions have provoked an outcry from the Iranian-American community, as well as Arab-American and civil-liberties groups, who say the restrictions on dual nationals and certain travelers are discriminatory and could be imposed against American dual nationals.”

It was signed into law on December 18, 2015, as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of FY2016.

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-9-06-25-pm

The Congress and Homeland Security selected these countries in 2016 and before (Screenshot of visa waiver categories, US Customs and Border Protection)

What? So there was a Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 two years before Trump? There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.

So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to ban people from the seven countries that Trump is accused of banning immigrants and visitors from. CNN even hinted at this by noting “those countries were named in a 2016 law concerning immigration visas as ‘countries of concern.'”  But why didn’t CNN note that the seven countries were not named and that in fact they are only on the list because of Obama’s policy?

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-9-01-43-pm

The “ban” didn’t exclude countries linked to business interests, it targeted countries of “concern” drawn up last year by Obama’s administration and Congress

Because mainstream media has been purposely lying, either due to ignorance or because of unwillingness to read the document and ask questions and because they are too ready to accept “facts” without investigating. They want to blame Trump for a “Muslim ban” because they were ready with that script since last year. And indeed Trump has enacted a harsh executive order cracking down on visitors from these countries (particularly Syrians), but his crackdown only includes those seven countries because of Obama’s policy. Trump’s decision to go beyond the policy and increase the Obama policy harms refugees, but it only increases an existing discriminatory policy, it doesn’t invent it. Reading media reports you would never know that.  Most disingenuous, truly bordering on fake news, are the reports that claimed the seven countries were connected to Trump business interests, as if Obama’s DHS picked them because of Trump?

So why didn’t anyone of the thousands of reporters covering this read the same document and ask the same question and do the same investigation of where the seven “countries of concern” came from? A simply Google search would have revealed the history. A bit of searching around US code would have explained it.

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-9-15-33-pm

Were reports misleading on Trump “Muslim ban”?

The public should be suspicious of Trump’s policies and the media should speak truth to power and demand answers from the administration. But the media should also be truthful with the public and instead of claiming Trump singled out seven countries, it should note that the US Congress and Obama’s Department of Homeland Security had singled out these countries. It should have told us about theTerrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 rather than pretend this list was invented in 2017. Trump’s executive order said “countries of concern,” it didn’t make a list. That list was already made, last year and years before. 

 

 

146 responses to “Obama’s administration made the “Muslim ban” possible and the media won’t tell you

  1. Great, insightful article I will share – someone who can actually speak to the document in the ‘first person’ because you read it! Imagine the novelty of that. BTW, you have a typo – you write of Trump ‘singing’ the act but you mean ‘signing.’

    • these nationals were not banned by obama. the point he is making in this article is that obama selected these seven countries–countries that never produced terrorists that killed americans– as countries of concern. obama planted the seed and trump is growing it.

      because of “the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act,” if you are a non-american, say german, and traveled to any of these seven countries after 2011, you will not be able to freely visit the US. You will have to apply for a visa and have an interview.

    • Your answer so plainly demonstrates the simplistic way that the new President and his followers view the world. As you note, President Obama was already closely scrutinizing immigrants from these countries, and his administration was already granting an exemption for people who were helping our military. President Trump has to make a grand announcement about it, stop immigration altogether, and add (the likely unconstitutional preference for) Christians to the mix in order to make people who don’t begin to understand the nuance of international affairs. The devil is in the details, and, alas, we may wind up at war before the American people appreciate the importance of using scalpels rather than axes.

    • It also allows the homeland security to waive the stipulations in paragraph A. Donald Trump just put it on steroids and gave no care warning or direction as to how it should be implemented.

    • It is unfortunate that the author decided to”pick and choose” parts of the VWP Travel Restrictions. I urge folks to read the entire law on the U.S Customs and Border Protection webpage that addresses this. It is NOT a blanket ban that Trump signed; it states the exceptions to the restrictions and how travelers to the US from these countries can be vetted by the U.S. State Department: “These new eligibility requirements do not bar travel to the United States. Instead, a traveler who does not meet the requirements must obtain a visa for travel to the United States, which generally includes an in-person interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.”https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/visa-waiver-program/visa-waiver-program-improvement-and-terrorist-travel-prevention-act-faq

      • I did not accurately express myself in the comment above. Trump has gone way beyond what the VWP restrictions outline; he has place a total BAN without recourse for persons from these ountries. That is not the intent of the VWP Program (or of Obama, either, apparently.)

    • Thank you, Chris! I came to the same conclusion after doing the research. Seth is making a false equivalency here! The Obama administration did not enact a Muslim ban. They just said those who live in the 38 countries that don’t need visas to travel to the US (because of the Visa Waiver Program) but who are dual citizens of one of the 7 Muslim countries–or who have traveled to one of the 7 Muslim countries in the last 5 years–must get a visa; they are no longer exempt. This is prudent vetting. What Trump is doing is pure, blanket discrimination.

    • He didn’t say the code banned them. He said the code *made the list*, which was the precedent for expanding the targeting policy to a temporary ban policy.

  2. Hi, I posed this same question to H.A. Goodman following his Youtube clip in which he mentioned this article.

    Can you please clarify, because you say Obama “banned” travelers from Muslim nations, and I read the article you mentioned, and also the Dept of Homeland Security FAQs where it states:

    “What do I do if I fall under one of the VWP travel restrictions under the new Act?

    The restrictions do not bar travel to the United States, but they do require a traveler covered by the restrictions in the law to obtain a visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. ”

    I’m not seeing where it says travelers are flat out “banned” but require to obtain a visa, rather than a waiver. Am I wrong?

    Also, since it seems that Syrians who have legitimate visas are now being turned back, isn’t this act of the President far different than that of the previous administrations policy?

    Thanks for any clarification.

      • First, I appreciate you looking deeper into this story. But you do suggest that Obama started the ban. Look at your 9th paragraph:

        There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.

        So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to ban people from the seven countries that Trump is accused of banning immigrants and visitors from.

      • Right here: “What? So there was a Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 two years before Trump? There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.”. You are saying that Obama’s 2015 act was a Muslim ban overseen by his administration. That is very different from a requirement for individuals from these countries to get a Visa. I think you make some necessary and valid points about the news coverage of where the list of countries actually came from, but go too far in making it appear that the two actions were completely analogous.

      • No I’m not saying that. You misread what I wrote intentionally to suit your view. I said there was a “kind of ‘Muslim ban'” which is what I meant. A kind of discrimination prior to 2017.

      • Clever, you infer, but not state…what is the point of this? And please don’t tell me America has a right to know…America has a right to the President they elected in the first place, not this clown you are so hell bent on protecting

      • You said “There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.”

        Is that not suggesting that Obama had a ban in place even though you know that not to be the case?

      • Twice. Just below your screenshot of visa waiver categories.
        What? So there was a Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 two years before Trump? There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.
        So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to ban people from the seven countries that Trump is accused of banning immigrants and visitors from. CNN even hinted at this by noting “those countries were named in a 2016 law concerning immigration visas as ‘countries of concern.’”  But why didn’t CNN note that the seven countries were not named and that in fact they are only on the list because of Obama’s policy?

      • “So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to ban people from the seven countries…”

        You do say “begin to ban”. That sounds like the act of banning to me.

      • You said it here: “So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to ban people from the seven countries that Trump is accused of banning immigrants and visitors from. “

      • “So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to ban people “

      • You said, “There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban?” There is a muslim ban on there isn’t. I am sorry, but when you are asked to obtain a visa rather than a waver you are not being banned. To claim that, “OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION MADE THE “MUSLIM BAN” POSSIBLE,” is, to me, purposefully misleading.

      • You’re right you didn’t say it that’s why I don’t understand your article. Obviously Trump did something different from what Obama did and that’s why you have all these protests at the airport.

      • Trump supporters would be really disappointed to know this. But it’s a good read. Shines a light on the fact that the Obama Administration is not oh so perfect as everyone thought it to be. Still, it was better. And so the media speaks in ways we should understand. This is not important to talk about on such broad detail because, think about it, what can Obama do now? Apologize? And then what? – and I know Trump’s tweets are always in the news and that’s kind of wrong too.

      • In the 9th and 10th paragraphs of your article, you wrote:

        “…There was a kind of ‘Muslim ban’ before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.

        So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to ban people from the seven countries that Trump is accused of banning immigrants and visitors from.”

      • You actually did say Obama did a Muslim ban….

        “What? So there was a Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 two years before Trump? There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.”

        I’m sure you used the words “kind of Mulsim Ban” to protect yourself but the word ban shouldn’t have been used at all. Wouldn’t have got you as many readers so I get it.

      • You definitely implied that, and in fact, you almost directly said it:

        “What? So there was a Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 two years before Trump? There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it. So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to ban people from the seven countries that Trump is accused of banning immigrants and visitors from.”

      • “So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to BAN people from the seven countries that”
        Right there.

      • I noted on my third read that you didn’t say that Obama banned travelers from the target countries. However, it was implied to a casual reader.

        Also, Saudi, Egypt, UAE, and Lebanon were already outside the Visa Waiver Program. Yes, the 2015 law did list the seven countries as specifically out of the VWP but there was no ban, just a visa required to enable checks to weed out risks.

        Taking a fresh look, Trump (Bannon) could have easily added Saudi, etc. to the ban and why not given the risk they present?

        So, while I wouldn’t ascribe to you an intent to misinform, I don’t ascribe that motive to the press in what they have been reporting on the ban either. It’s complicated stuff. Trump shouldn’t have rushed his fiat through

      • So I have to push back again. You are claiming that because it says “kind of” before Muslim ban, that means you were NOT saying Obama banned muslims. That’s not how it works. When you say kind of, you are implying there are many different kinds of Muslim bans, of which this order that Obama signed was one kind. That means you ARE saying it is a ban, a kind of ban. I’m saying, it wasn’t even a kind of ban, which is what a majority of these comments are saying as well. Requiring a Visa isn’t a kind of ban — a ban, temporary or permanent, though is a ban.

  3. Pingback: Most claims about Trump’s visa Executive Order are false or misleading·

  4. So you’re saying, because the Obama administration declined to waive the visa requirement for people who had traveled to these countries, that they were as culpable of discrimination as Trump is in issuing a blanket ban on entry for all nationals from these same countries? There’s a huge difference between requiring applicants to go through the usual visa process (where their applications will be considered individually) and outright refusing entry based only on their nationality. This isn’t even an apples to oranges comparison.

  5. Pingback: Dean Wormer to Media: IGNORANT and VENAL is no wary to go through life - PRESS FUMBLE report on Trump Executive Order - Sparta Report·

  6. Seth did you look up what the visa waiver program was/is? It denies *expedited* entry. It does not deny entry, to refugees or persons from listed countries.

    • The program specifically didn’t apply to these seven countries whose citizens were discriminated against. It DID NOT “expedite” entry for people from Iraq, Syria, etc.

      • Wrong. It didn’t apply to citizens of those seven countries. The Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 applied to citizens of countries like the UK and France. Those people don’t need visas, but if they had visited the list of seven countries, then they would need to go through the visa process. It is NOT an outright ban like Trump’s. This Act is intended to prevent Westerners from going and being radicalized in those countries and returning home to commit terrorism.

        Your article is disingenuous. You should update it with a correction or you are insulting your readers.

      • So pretty much in the wake of ISIS the Obama administration took action and said people from these 7 nations will have to have a visa and pass through other checks if they want to get into the U.S
        But Trump wants to ban everyone.
        These are two separate acts and including the 7 other nations isn’t really a big deal because those were the new hotspots for terrorism.
        So your title “Obama’s administration made the “Muslim ban” possible and the media won’t tell you” is misleading because Obama admin did not make it possible, that and the one by Trump are two separate things.

        So I don’t really know what point you’re trying to make but it is nicely written article. At least you provided links and not solely your opinion.

      • And I don’t watch any mainstream news channels so I’m sure you’re referring to how they’re putting a spin on the story, but with all due respect you’re putting a spin on yours with that title.

  7. Interesting post, the “ban on Muslims” is indeed a mischaracterization, although a lot of people will consider it just that (on both side of the aisle). Taking the randomness of the chosen countries aside, the fact that it stops refugees but also legal immigrants (H1B, Green Cards, etc..) from these countries is the real story here. President Trump is not willing to accept the fact that refugee undertake the most gruelling screening one can receive (extreme vetting). He’s only giving what his base think they need despite the facts.

    Also, your characterization of the Obama’s administration making today’s Executive Order possible is misleading, while it is true that Trump used a previous policy (a bad one at that) to target these countries, it had no bearing on Trump’s Executive Order. Stopping legal immigrants from coming back to their home was Trump’s choice not Obama’s.

    • The problem is people don’t trust the federal govt. Trump is aiming to change that, yes it will hurt, but it’s only 4 months.

  8. You are crossing two different things. It does seem that the list of “7 countries” reported in the media was lifted from the 2015 VWP act instead of the EO issued by the President (so correct on that), the VWP and what the EO covers are very different subjects.

    The first line of the very act you linked shows this: “The VWP permits citizens of 38 countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa”. So the VWP is about people traveling *without* a visa for business or tourism, where as the EO bans all immigration in all cases, including humanitarian asylum.

  9. Pingback: Obama’s administration made the “Muslim ban” possible and the media won’t tell you – Food for Thought·

    • The author is making some good points, but his main premise is wrong, Trump’s Executive Order was not made possible by Obama’s 2015 Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, the only link between the two is the fact that President Trump used the list from that previous policy. So while it’s totally fair to point out the hypocrisy of some stating that the list is due to Trump’s financial interests in some countries, it’s also quite wrong to blame Obama’s for this latest EO.

      • I didn’t say I completely agree in fact I’m against the ban for the most part. But it does set a precedent or the groundwork for what Trump did. I can also understand a new administration wanting to set some things aside to take a look at how they want to approach them. Currently, this is a temporary ban thou I think it’s a little long. Is it fair? No. Do I agree with it? No. Do I understand the need for it? Yes.
        In ~120 days If trump or congress has not put forth a reasonable plan I will be calling my representative and senator but until then I will reserve judgment.
        And frankly, that’s my view on the FHA loan thing as well. I had to go back to crap from 2014/15 and the origin of the program itself to even get a remote understanding of why Obama did what he did and why Trump did what he did.

      • @Patrick

        “Do I understand the need for it? Yes.”

        If this EO was about protecting Americans it would not include refugees and Green card holders, these people get vetted the most. If Trump was serious about it he would deal with tourist VISAs and others that could be improved, this latest EO shows the Administration total disregard for legal immigrants, people who are unable to come back home, anyone should be outraged and stop pretending that Trump is trying to protect this country, his actions show otherwise.

  10. I’m not sure how the previous legislation “made possible” what Trump did. He could have gotten the exact same results by naming the countries himself.

  11. The U.S. allows the citizens of more than 30 countries to visit for short stays without a visa under a visa-waiver program. But that visa waiver does not apply if a citizen of an eligible country has visited—with some exceptions—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011. Those individuals must apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate. These seven countries are listed under section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12) of the U.S. code, and it is this code that Trump’s executive order cited while banning citizens of those nations

  12. Pingback: Obama Made The Muslim Ban Possible And The Media Won’t Tell You – Dave Levine Online·

  13. I can’t begin to tell you how upset I am with these so called news outlets and their ‘journalists’ over this situation, and, now reading your column, I am even more outraged.

    • He is wrong. He’s trying to say a program that requires visas for people who are from countries we normally allow in without a visa up to ninety days get a visa if they went to those countries. That’s it. They were still allowed in, just not allowed in without a visa.

    • What do you expec, honest and factual reporting from a national media made up of 90% Democrat bias?
      Even if Trump’s actions were typically neoconservative, same-old Bush NWO globalism, they would still publish undermining “news” articles. Raw meat for their “base”. How much more will the fangs come out if Trump takes action that is against longstanding liberal and neoconservative “non-fixes”?

  14. While I command you for doing more research than just accepting the information you’re being given by the media, you still have the wrong conclusion after reading the correct text. Take it from a former congressional liaison at the Department of States National Visa Center, ban on the seven countries in regards to the VWP never banned Muslims from coming to the United States. It was placed there to ensure extended and proper vetting of refugees and immigrants coming from those countries. So that if someone from Somalia decides to immigrate to Canada first and then come to the United States, they would still be required to be thoroughly vetted by the United States and would not be able to just walk through the border using the visa waiver program . So in another word, they don’t get the same privelages as Canadian citizens, they would still be considered Somalian refugees who are required to go through a different more extreme vetting procedures than a regular Canadian citizen requesting to enter the United States for a field trip. Not understanding immigration law even after reading it is what causes news media and USA citizens to spread ridiculous ideas about how immigration works . Obamas administration implemented these rules as a means to properly vet these refugees, something trump supporters keep asking for and not understanding that it’s already in place. And while the media is mixing up certain aspects of what obamas administration did vs what trumps is doing , do not be mistaken that this so called Muslim ban really is a Muslim ban.

  15. I do not think that the 2015 law “targeted and even began to ban people from the seven countries that Trump is accused of banning immigrants and visitors from.” The law was about the Visa Waiver Program that applies to people from countries like the UK and France and allows them to enter the US without a visa. The law states that if (for example) a French citizen had visited Iran, they would need to get a visa to visit the US. That is not targeting citizens of Iran. It is targeting visitors to Iran from countries whose citizens generally get special treatment when they visit the US.

    That said, it is a correct point that the list of countries Trump built into his executive order came from that legislation.

  16. Rachel Maddow told us this on Friday. The Visa Waiver program is for for visitors from certain countries such as Great Britain. We waive the visa requirement for Brits (just as they do for U.S. tourists), unless they traveled to one of the countries on that list. So the list did not affect nationals of the countries on the list. But it sounds like you are saying that if a list had not been prepared by another administration, this ban would not have been possible. Is the Trump administration not capable of making its own list? And is Trump not capable of reading this list to check for countries where he has interests? Are they really that incompetent? I believe that they must be capable of making a list, but they were lazy. And it would take only seconds for Trump to make sure that none of his interests were in the countries on the list.

  17. Holy cow! Thanks for the research! What do we do now? People are raising hell! ACLU brought a bogus case into court. Does this mean the bogus judge’s decision is bogus?

    • Don’t get confused by the author’s conclusions, while he correctly pointing out some of the misinformation portrayed by the media as far as Trump’s choice of countries, the only link between Obama’s Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 and this executive order is the list of countries, that’s it.

      The ACLU case had to do with legal immigrants who have been in this country or already have been vetted (for refugees it takes almost 2 years and go through most intelligence agencies on top of immigration offices, plus interviews, etc…) and are not allowed back in.

    • The only responsible journalism in this piece is regarding the list of countries not being Trump’s choice but taken from the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, the conclusions are misleading at best.

  18. Uh. I want to point something out, because this isn’t.. sigh.

    “What? So there was a Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 two years before Trump? There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.”

    First, suspending the visa waiver program is, in no way, any kind of muslim ban. It’s true that the outlined countries are the least stable in the region, and as such should be subject to the “vetting” everyone is talking about. The visa waiver program was created to bypass the vetting and visa process for certain individuals or countries, primarily dual-citizens and those with previous residence in allied countries.

    None of the countries listed were ever a part of the VWP, let alone removed from it. The ruling from Obama specifically targeted people who lived in a VWP country who had stayed extensively in those countries and may have been subject to radicalization or identity theft.

    To keep this from getting complicated, the “VWP” being suspended for those nations did NOT prevent someone from coming to the USA from those countries under ANY circumstances. It just meant they had to go through standard procedure and obtain a visa to do so.

    The notion that it went without scrutiny and was made possible because Obama..? I doubt it. EVERYONE agrees that the people coming into this country should be checked out by intelligence before being allowed in. Everyone. If you believe otherwise, you’re listening to the wrong sources. There aren’t many educated people as liberal as I am, and everyone agrees that background checks should be done to the best of our ability. The ruling Obama created allowed for exactly that: Suspension of the Visa WAIVER program for certain individuals already covered by it, not residents of the aforementioned countries, and not a suspension of visas awarded. Whether his order was cited or not does not change whether Trump could have done exactly the same thing.

    With that said, the implication that he targeted countries based on business interests.. that’s total bullshit. His business interests are in the stable states in the region. Because that’s how foreign direct investment works. His attention is drawn to unstable nations, because that’s how foreign policy works.

    Media is shit, but so are blogs.

  19. Uh. I want to point something out, because this isn’t.. sigh.

    “What? So there was a Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 two years before Trump? There was a kind of “Muslim ban” before the Muslim ban? But almost no one critiqued it in 2015 because it was Obama’s administration overseeing it.”

    First, suspending the visa waiver program is, in no way, any kind of muslim ban. It’s true that the outlined countries are the least stable in the region, and as such should be subject to the “vetting” everyone is talking about. The visa waiver program was created to bypass the vetting and visa process for certain individuals or countries, primarily dual-citizens and those with previous residence in allied countries.

    None of the countries listed were ever a part of the VWP, let alone removed from it. The ruling from Obama specifically targeted people who lived in a VWP country who had stayed extensively in those countries and may have been subject to radicalization or identity theft.

    To keep this from getting complicated, the “VWP” being suspended for those nations did NOT prevent someone from coming to the USA from those countries under ANY circumstances. It just meant they had to go through standard procedure and obtain a visa to do so.

    The notion that it went without scrutiny and was made possible because Obama..? I doubt it. EVERYONE agrees that the people coming into this country should be checked out by intelligence before being allowed in. Everyone. If you believe otherwise, you’re listening to the wrong sources. There aren’t many educated people as liberal as I am, and everyone agrees that background checks should be done to the best of our ability. The ruling Obama created allowed for exactly that: Suspension of the Visa WAIVER program for certain individuals already covered by it, not residents of the aforementioned countries, and not a suspension of visas awarded. Whether his order was cited or not does not change whether Trump could have done exactly the same thing.
    With that said, the implication that he targeted countries based on business interests.. that’s total bullshit. His business interests are in the stable states in the region. Because that’s how foreign direct investment works. His attention is drawn to unstable nations, because that’s how foreign policy works.

    Media is shit. But so are blogs.

  20. Very interesting. I’m glad I read this article, and I agree that it seems Trump’s ridiculous order is simply extending an already preexisting issue. However, from what I understand, Obama’s “muslim ban” only meant that people from those countries can’t come into the US via the VWP, however they can still enter after aquiring a visa. Is this correct or did I misunderstand?

    Thank you ahead of time for anyone who responds.

    • You are correct, the author is confusing things and trying to blame Trump’s actions on Obama’s previous Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 when the only link between the two is the list of countries. It seems the bias of the media is true on all side these days.

  21. Obama certainly does bear his share of responsibility for this nightmare. But in the interests of accuracy and completeness, you left out the part in the Feb. 2016 announcement that said, “The new law does not ban travel to the United States, or admission into the United States”. So although the list of countries was generated by the Obama Administration, this is a change not just of degree but of kind as well.

  22. Pingback: Obama’s administration made the “Muslim ban” possible and the media won’t tell you – IOintegrators WordPress·

  23. ” hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)”

    Dude, that part is important. You gotta read it, and understand it, in full. Those are the other countries. That’s why you can’t crtl + f.

  24. Good post bud.. But I wanna hear your thoughts on this:

    “So for more than a year it has been US policy to discriminate against, target and even begin to ban people from the seven countries that Trump is accused of banning immigrants and visitors from. ” – Seth..

    It’s actually the “Nationals” of VWP countries.. and not the citizen of those countries of concern that’s targeted by the TTPA. UNLESS they are dual-citizen–then technically they are UNABLE to use the VWP and have to go through the normal visa process. The new exec order specifically targets the citizens of the countries of concern.

    Overall, people are blowing things out of proportion imo.
    – Worked 2 yrs as US Military Customs and Immigrations

  25. I looked up H.R.158 – Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. It was introduced in the House by Michigan Republican representative, Candice S. Miller. It passed the House, but appears to have died in the Senate. I don’t see that is is connected to the Obama Administration. Plus, it only makes mention to Iraq and Syria. Did I miss something?

  26. Ah, okay. So we shouldn’t blame the arsonist for burning down the house because someone left a full gas can and some matches in the garage. Good point!

  27. The Omnibus Appropriation Act of 2016 text mentioned that it is meant for ‘nationals of VWP countries’. The list of 7 countries, I thought, are not part of the VWP countries to begin with, correct? What was the process of admittance for the nationals of the 7 countries themselves? That’s not clear to me by reading the text. Can you share your insight on that please? Thank you for posting the article by the way.

  28. Whats your point? Obama administration identified these nations as high-risk therefore requiring more stringent visa reviews before admission to the country. Trump basically took that list and said no admissions whatsoever from these countries for 90 days. Your point that Obama made this list to begin with has nothing to do with anything.

      • You really missed the point of the statute. It’s to address the very issue that your comment cited. EU residents are generally considered low-risk and eligible to enter the country without a visa. However, EU residents that travelled to potential training sites are higher risk and subject to the same visa investigation requirements as residents of those nations.

  29. It sounds like the visa waiver program is just that – limits visas for those seven countries. So the seven countries were already listed by the DHS under Obama. But was a complete ban enacted under him, or did Trump take it to the next level for these seven countries? You make it sound as though Trump is only responsible for the Syrian ban.

  30. One thing to note is that the Visa Waiver Program is just that–a waiver for special treatment so that people from certain countries can visit the US for less than 90 days without having to obtain a visa. Section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12) removed 7 countries, leaving only 38 countries in the program. However, the US State Department recognizes 195 independent states (including the US), so Section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12) was really treating Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Somalia or Yemen like the 149 countries that were not part of the Visa Waiver Program. Source: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/visa-waiver-program/visa-waiver-program-improvement-and-terrorist-travel-prevention-act-faq# and https://www.state.gov/s/inr/rls/4250.htm

  31. This does not look like a case of mainstream media “purposely lying”. The Obama Administration policy unless I’m mistaken created that list to deny for people who had travelled to those countries, an *easier than normal* way of travelling to the US. Without visas for 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program. They would have been allowed to apply for visas and travel to the US the way a majority of the people in the world usually do. (The Visa Waiver Program was itself only available to the citizens of about 40 countries according to this website: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visa-waiver-program.html. ).

    The new policy bans people of the earlier created list from travelling to the US even if they have valid visas. It does seem a qualitatively a different thing. And assuming that ‘those countries are in the list only because Obama administration made the list’ seems to suggest that list would have automatically applied to the Trump rule, or the people who made the Trump order did not bother to read the list they specifically included in the executive order and so can not be held responsible for the fact that it includes those countries. Hard to believe they did not know specifically which countries it is that the order would apply to.

  32. Thank you for posting this. Iit’s clear that the origin of these seven countries didn’t originate from Pres. Trump, but I think it is hyperbole to call the Act a “ban” when nationals of a specific country or the country itself is removed from the VFP program. China doesn’t participate in the VFP program and travel between the U.S and China is not halted. Even the DHS website concerning the act specifically states:

    “The Act, among other things, establishes new eligibility requirements for travel under the VWP. These new eligibility requirements do not bar travel to the United States. Instead, a traveler who does not meet the requirements must obtain a visa for travel to the United States, which generally includes an in-person interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.”

    Plus, a Omnibus bill passed under a Republican Congress and signed by a Democratic president would probably be more honestly referred to as “bipartisan.”

  33. So, the Obama administration admits that there is a problem with people coming in from those 7 Muslim majority countries. They tried to implement another level of protection with the 2015 Act. Trump is just saying this extra step is not enough and he wants 6 months to analyze the system and make repairs. Thank you, Mr. President. I don’t want to face the same mess that Europe is in right now.

  34. Let me attempt to distill the gist of the situation:

    The President of the United States signed an Executive Order temporarily halting entry into the United States for foreigners, foreign nationals, and visitors from certain countries. This ban was implemented for the express purpose of giving the United States time to develop new protocols for vetting persons wishing to enter the U.S. from the specified countries, and is to last only 90 days. While there are 50 majority-Muslim nations in the world, only seven are subject to these increased restrictions, leaving those with ties to the other 43 majority-Muslim nations completely unaffected.The seven countries that are subject to the temporary restrictions are those which were identified in existing United States immigration policy documents issued by or under the previous Administration as being of particular concern to National Security.

    Without hyperbole or paranoia, dos that explain the current situation?

  35. Are you a moron or something? Do you think that if Obama had never had passed the act that Trump Executive Order wouldn’t have simply written out the county names “Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syudan, Somalia or Yemen.” instead of citing the 2015 Act? Please don’t label things fake news when it really isn’t – it’s bad for society….there’s enough disinformation out there already.

  36. Pingback: Most claims about Trump’s visa Executive Order are false or misleading – sentinelblog·

  37. Pingback: Soros Bankrolling Effort to Stop Trump’s Temporary Refugee Halt Order - Conservative News & Right Wing News | Gun Laws & Rights News Site : Conservative News & Right Wing News | Gun Laws & Rights News Site·

  38. This act didn’t stop them from coming to the U.S. It meant they were not a part of the VWP program which is an expedited process. That means they had to follow the long vetting process. They could still travel here with no delay or be turned back. It just meant they have to vetted further for entry. “The restrictions prevent nationals of 38 countries who have either traveled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan since March 1, 2011, or those who hold citizenship from those countries, from coming to the United States under the VWP program. The visa waiver program offers expedited electronic processing and short-term visa-free travel to tourists and business travelers.
    Instead, dual nationals and travelers who have spent time in the listed countries will be required to go through the full vetting of the regular visa process, which includes an in-person interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s