Remember When Travel Bans Were Racist and Xenophobic?
Travel bans were never an issue or concern until a certain orange man took up residence in the White House. Congress has the Constitutional authority, “To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.” The executive branch is then tasked with carrying out these rules.
For America’s first hundred years, Congress did not place limits on immigration. In the 20th century, immigrants entered and were processed through Ellis Island and similar processing points. Congress in 1917 approved a literacy test for immigrants.
The Immigration Act of 1924 established quotas based on nationality. This ended with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which prioritized immigrants with family members already in the US and political refugees. Since then, illegal immigration and its consequences have grown exponentially with no real effort by elected officials of either party to say enough is enough.
That ended in June 2015 when a brash real estate mogul and television reality host rode down the escalator in his namesake building and told a shocked world that he would build a wall on our southern border and make Mexico pay for it. When the laughter died down, he was no longer a joke of a candidate, but the duly elected President of the United States because American voters said enough is enough.
Trump’s 2017 travel bans barred entry to citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, and North Korea over security concerns. These countries were unable to adequately vet those entering America. It was not a “Muslim ban” as the media claimed, as North Korea is certainly not Muslim and other Muslim countries, like the Gulf States or Indonesia, were not included.
In the age of terrorism, the President wanted to try to limit bad players from entering the US, shooting up nightclubs or schools. Or worse.
The New York Times asked, “Will it make Americans safer? The answer, as best as anyone can tell based on publicly available information, is no.”
Instead this was, “The latest gambit in a cynical, unceasing effort by an embattled president to inflame public fears and woo the xenophobes in his base.” The rest of the media and Democrat Party echoed the sentiment, calling Trump and his supporters xenophobic racists.
World leaders, reading the NY Times along with their morning cappuccino, agreed. Justin Trudeau from Canada claimed, “Diversity is our strength.” The UK’s Theresa May concurred, “We do not agree with this kind of approach and it is not one we will be taking.” Frau Merkel of Germany “slammed the restrictions on immigration imposed by Trump”, saying it was “not justified.”
These travel bans were imposed to prevent or slow terrorism, in this case the Islamic variety. Today we face a different form of terrorism, as in a virus.
Terrorism deliberately creates a climate of fear within a population to bring about a political objective. The Wuhan Coronavirus has excelled far beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for. The world is paralyzed - commerce, travel, and social interaction are all shut down.
No terror act in history has come anywhere close what this virus has achieved. There were a few days of no travel after 9/11 and new screenings and restrictions, but everyone could still come and go as they pleased, to virtually any country in the world. Grocery shelves weren’t empty, ski mountains and health clubs weren’t closed, schools were open, and there was no home quarantine as we now see in San Francisco.
This past January, while Democrats were pushing a nonsensical impeachment, the rube in the White House recognized the looming threat of this Chinese virus and imposed a travel ban against China. Democrats and the media howled in unison, claiming “racism” and “xenophobia.”
In reality, Trump was two steps ahead of the rest of the world, confirmed by task force member Dr Anthony Fauci saying, “The travel ban to China absolutely made a difference” in limiting the number of cases in America.
Italy, with a pipeline of travel and business relations with China took a different approach and has become a viral death camp as a result. European borders remained open, to terrorism of both the Islamic and viral varieties. EU leaders predictably criticized Trump, saying his ban was misguided and wouldn’t work.
As the Wuhan virus invaded Europe, Trump imposed a travel ban on Europe a week ago. EU leaders “expressed only exasperation” over “a sudden move that took them by surprise and that many saw as politically motivated.” Were they not watching the rapidly increasing number of cases and fatalities in their countries? Or were they stuck in woke virtue signaling mode, reflexively criticizing all things Trump?
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Once again, the unqualified oaf in the White House was a step ahead of his detractors. A few days after Trump imposed a travel ban, EU leaders went from woke to awake and banned “all nonessential travel into Europe for 30 days.” Politically correct Canada and New Zealand imposed their own travel bans or mandatory quarantines, essentially closing their borders to non-citizens.
Where is the outrage? If anything, this viral pandemic is exposing the left for blatant political hypocrisy. Travel bans are only racist when imposed by a Republican, but when the progressive left does the same thing, they are “sensible” and “prudent”.
Without a bit of irony, Business Insider, while reporting the travel ban imposed by the EU against the rest of the world, observed, “The EU last week condemned President Donald Trump's ban on travel to the US from much of Europe.” Within a week they spun on their heels and followed Trump’s lead.
Even Mexico is considering closing their border with the US. How about that! Trump may be getting his wall and Mexico may be paying for it.
So much for open borders. It’s interesting how several of Trump’s core principles including securing our borders and not relying on China for our supply chain are now being embraced by much of the world. Except for Democrat presidential candidates, all of whom favor open borders. Talk about being on the wrong side of a major issue, Democrats can have fun defending open borders after this viral pandemic.
French president Emmanuel Macron correctly noted, “We are at war – a public health war, certainly but we are at war, against an invisible and elusive enemy.” Those are the same words used in describing another enemy, not a virus but a radical ideology, posing a similar threat.
President Trump reacted to both threats, similarly, fulfilling his constitutional duty to protect his country. Yet his travel bans were decried as racist and xenophobic, until reality smacked previously politically correct world leaders in the head, and they got on board the Trump train.
This new attitude of world leaders, Democrats, and the media toward this clear and present viral danger exposes their blatant hypocrisy and politicization of everything for personal and ideological gain. These people are sick, and their foolishness and posturing will cause far more damage and destruction than the virus.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, Rasmussen Reports, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and QuodVerum.