Politics or Principles

ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, President Trump signed an Executive Order that temporarily halted immigration for 90 days from seven countries in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen). The liberal media erupted in a near firestorm of criticism saying that he “banned Muslims” and suggested that innocent refugees would be harmed or worse as a result.  CNN, a bastion of accuracy, ran a huge banner headline “Trump bans 134,000,000 from the U.S.”  That same day, over 300,000 people entered the U.S. legally and only 109 were temporarily prohibited from entering. That same weekend, computer problems caused Delta Airlines to cancel 150+ flights and inconvenienced travel plans of thousands. The main stream media was not agitated or overly concerned.

In 2011, President Obama suspended immigration from Iraq for six months. Was the press aroused to anger? Hardly. In 2015, Congress passed a law limiting immigration from states of concern that were terrorism centers and in 2016, Jeh Johnson expanded the list to the seven countries above. What changed? Clearly, President Trump had the temerity to actually put into practice something his predecessor made possible. The seven countries are filled with jihadists or under jihadist control. As the National Review pointed out “immigrants from Somalia, for example, have launched jihadist attacks here at home and have sought to leave the U.S. to join ISIS”

It would be foolish and unwise to admit anyone from these countries without carefully reviewing their application. To do otherwise is to invite the growth of terror in our own country and that is not what anyone wants. We now live in a relatively safe environment with little regard for the possibility of terrorism here. That is not the case in Europe where millions of “refugees” have entered from the Middle East and news stories from European countries frequently speak of rapes, terror, shootings and mayhem. We do not want that in the U.S. and we should take every step to ensure that our lives are not disrupted or ended by mindless terrorism imported to our shores.

The world is a very broken place today and refugees of these seven countries have been compared to the Jews of the 30’s. Tikun Olam is a guiding principle of Judaism and Jews will always work to help those in need. Recently, Israel took in 100 refugee Syrian orphaned children. In the 1930’s, refugee Jews were often denied entry to the U.S. Why not help these refugees now to atone for those past sins?

There are several glaring differences. Jewish refugees had nowhere to go, but refugees from these countries could be resettled in over 40 other countries which are predominantly Muslim. These refugees are fleeing a Muslim vs. Muslim war, but Jews in the 30’s were persecuted by non-Jews and had no alternative but to flee or be placed in concentration camps. Jewish refugees were peaceful and abhorred violence, but many of the refugees from these countries are the cause of murder, misogyny, racism and other violent acts. Most Jewish refugees were families with children, husbands, wives and grandparents. Refugees from these countries are overwhelmingly male with a median age of 32 and strong beliefs about sharia law and anti-Semitism. And finally, the threat of Jewish terrorists infiltrating the U.S. was non-existent during that time.

Unless properly vetted for entry, refugees could easily harbor terrorist tendencies and might want to impose sharia law in the U.S. Even today in Detroit, sharia law is being taught to some young immigrants and the laws of the U.S. Constitution ignored.

Stefan Molyneux, a prominent video blogger, noted that it is also a matter of economics. The U.S. cannot absorb the thousands of refugees from that area; President Trump has stated that the U.S. will provide safe zones in the war and jihad ravaged areas. While one might feel good allowing unfettered immigration of “huddled masses,” the cost of supporting 10,000 refugees here is the same as providing safe zones for 121,000 in those regions. Essentially, admitting 10,000 refugees prevents 110,000 others from coming in and being saved, simply because of costs. Which is more humane? Saving 10,000 or saving 121,000? You do the math.

Personally, I sleep better at night in my home knowing that I have locked doors and windows to keep out someone who might want to harm me. Does everyone who comes to my home want to do me harm? No! But I always like to be sure of who does come in because I want to be safe.

The U.S. should do the same; check who comes in and stay safe! It is the sensible thing to do.

Herb Cohen has taught computer science, database design, business information systems, and statistics at graduate and undergraduate colleges since 1983; has worked as a computer and information systems specialist in the aerospace industry for both governmental entities and private corporations since 1970 as a programmer, systems analyst, manager, and systems troubleshooter; has worked as a independent consultant developing, designing, and implementing a variety of both computer hardware and software based systems; has operated his own small business; and has an MBA from Calif. St. Univ. Fullerton and a BA in Economics from UC Santa Barbara with minors in physics and mathematics. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era.

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