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NYT/WaPo/WSJ Agree: Muslim Ban is Cruel, Unnecessary, and Not About National Security

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Yesterday, we assessed that the latest Muslim and refugee ban is still a “cruel, chaotic, and dangerous affront to the principles our country was founded on.” Given that internal DHS analyses undercut the supposed national security rationales for the policies, we noted that the motivations behind the ban traced back to the white nationalist vision embraced by key Trump advisors such as Steve Bannon.  Leading editorial boards and opinion writers are weighing in with similar assessments:

The New York Times editorializes against the revised Muslim ban, writing:

While it may disrupt fewer lives, the new ban, and its justification, conveys the same spurious messages: that Muslims are inherently dangerous and that resettling refugees represents a dire threat. As part of the new order, the government intends to disseminate data on ‘honor killings’ committed by foreigners in the United States. This step, and Mr. Sessions’s unsubstantiated claim about refugees under F.B.I. investigation, can be read only as a cultural smear.

Resorting to these bunker mentality tactics, which are being peddled with plenty of innuendo and little convincing evidence, will do lasting damage to America’s standing in the world and erode its proud tradition of welcoming people fleeing strife. While these steps are being sold as a means to make the nation safer, they stand to do the opposite.

In an editorial titled, “Trump’s new travel ban is as arbitrary and senseless as the first,” the Washington Post writes:

It is still the case, as a report last month from the Department of Homeland Security reiterated, that few people from the banned countries have mounted or tried to mount terrorist attacks in the United States. It is still the case that most of those convicted or killed attempting such attacks in recent years were U.S.-born citizens. And it is still the case, as U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema found in regard to Mr. Trump’s first order, that a travel ban “may be counterproductive to its stated goal” of keeping the nation safe.

That’s because the ban, while doing virtually nothing to deter terrorist attacks in this country, aids the recruitment efforts of the Islamic State and other extremist groups by substantiating their case that anti-Islamic bigotry thrives in the United States.

…The courts will decide whether the order, which renews the suspension of all refu­gee resettlement for 120 days, passes legal muster. Already clear is that it remains antithetical to American interests, values, tradition and security.

The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board calls the revised ban “still unnecessary,” and notes, “Mr. Trump would have been better served by withdrawing the order and trusting his Department of Homeland Security to protect the U.S. from dangerous aliens case-by-case.”

And in the Washington Post, Paul Waldman writes, “Trump just signed his new travel ban. Here’s what it’s really about,” capturing:

[T]he best way to understand the travel ban is to see it as part of a broader effort on the part of White House, particularly Trump’s key advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to wage an assault on the very idea of American diversity. Bannon has long believed that the white, Christian west is embroiled in a clash of civilizations with Islam. We learned this weekend that he often cites “The Camp of the Saints,” a viciously racist French novel from the 1970s about white Europe being overrun by nonwhite immigrants, to describe what he sees in the world today.

…So even if this newest version of the travel ban was written more carefully than the first one, make no mistake about its intent. Like the administration’s immigration crackdown, its stated justification is secondary. What it’s really about is creating a particular kind of America, one that shuts out the ‘wrong’ kind of people and sends a clear message to the world that if you aren’t the right race or the right religion, we don’t want you. That’s what the Trump administration is after, and so far they’re doing a pretty good job of it.