The President set in motion his promised ban on immigration last Friday. The executive order had this preposterous title: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.
The executive order signed by the president invokes the attacks of 11 September 2001 as its rationale. Never mind, however, that the order does not cover any of the countries from which the 9/11 hijackers actually came: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon.
Nevermind, also, that the executive order applies a religious test to immigration that may be unconstitutional on the grounds that it discriminates according to one’s faith.
Never mind that in defending this small-minded and bigoted executive order, one which grants Christian migrants priority over Muslims, the President said, “if you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.” In actual fact, data from the Pew Research Center shows that the number of Christian refugees admitted into the United States in 2016 (37,521) was approximately equal to the number of Muslim refugees (38,901) admitted that same year.
Never mind that the President rolled out this cowardly plan on Holocaust Remembrance Day. It’s hard to imagine more callous and insensitive timing, as well as a lack of deference to the largest refugee crisis in history.
None of this is normal. Indeed, it’s deeply, deeply shameful.
It’s worth ending with these words, from Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”