Temple Chima UbochiThursday, March 23, 2017
[email protected]
Bonn, Germany




Continued from Part 1

A filthy mouth will not utter decent language (Chinese Proverb)

These (Trump's) plainly worded statements "betray the executive order's stated secular purpose" (Judge Derrick K. Watson of Federal District Court in Honolulu)

The likely purpose of Mr. Trump's new order was "the effectuation of the proposed Muslim ban" (Judge Theodore D. Chuang of Federal District Court in Greenbelt, Md.)

Nobody is above the law in this country, and that includes the president of the United States. When anyone criticizes the honesty and integrity or the motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening, I find that demoralizing (Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch)

o refresh: What we're talking about here is that Hawaii challenged Trump's revised travel ban, as officials in Hawaii had argued that residents there would be harmed by separation from their families, and the effect of the ban on recruitment of workers and the important tourism industry. Remember that the first order, which went into effect on January 27, caused international confusion, and prompted protests at airports across the United States.

Trump's words are not helping him. It's logical that he, who says what he likes, gets what he didn't bargain for. The WP wrote that perhaps nowhere have Trump's words been as damaging as his attempts to implement the travel ban - which may have been damaged further by Trump's remarks at his Nashville rally. Trump inflamed controversy, during the campaign, by calling for a temporary ban on all foreign Muslims from entering the United States, then later shifted to vague pledges to ban people from countries with a history of Islamist terrorism.

The proposed policy can be traced back to December 2015. The NYT chronicled some of Trump's campaign words that influenced the judge's decision now:

Five days after terrorists in California killed 14 people, in December 2015, Mr. Trump whipped up his supporters at a rally by vowing to impose a complete ban on entry by Muslims "until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on". The crowd roared its approval. Later in the campaign, Mr. Trump backed away from calling for a total Muslim ban. But a judge in Hawaii, who ruled, on that Wednesday, appears to have concluded that Mr. Trump's true motivations could be found by looking at his earlier remarks.

Also undermining the administration's claim of secular intent was Trump's statement, on the Christian Broadcasting Network on Jan. 27 - just before the first ban went into place - that he saw persecuted Christians as a priority in accepting refugees. And when he actually signed the measure, Trump declared: "This is the protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States. We all know what that means." He did not explain further.

The next day, Jan. 28, according to WP, a close Trump adviser, Rudolph W. Giuliani, appeared on Fox News and seemed to offer an explanation: In his words: "I'll tell you the whole history of it. So when [Trump] first announced it, he said, 'Muslim ban.' He called me up. He said, 'Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally".

Advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union echoed Judge Watson's sentiments, and in a statement released after the ruling, the ACLU tweeted: "We are pleased but not surprised by this latest development and will continue working to ensure the Muslim ban never takes effect".

Trump is not amused, but has only himself to blame for the hiccup. Trump is threatening fire and brimstone against the suspension of his revised travel ban, and has vowed to appeal against the ruling -- or perhaps resurrect the first ban. Hear him: "We're going to fight this terrible ruling. We're going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court. We're going to win. We're going to keep our citizens safe, and regardless, we're going to keep our citizens safe. Believe me."

Trump told his audience in Nashville, Tennessee:

"A judge has just blocked our executive order on travel and refugees coming into our country from certain countries. The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and should have never been blocked to start with. Both actions represented "an unprecedented judicial overreach" that threatened "the safety of our nation. This ruling makes us look weak, which by the way we no longer are, believe me.... We're going to fight this terrible ruling. We're going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court."

Trump noted further that the second ban was tailored to get around the judicial criticisms of the first measure, which was to be rescinded when the second one went into effect. He even indicated his displeasure at having to concoct the new version at all. In his words:

"I wasn't thrilled, but the lawyers all said, 'Let's tailor it, I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place."

Also, the administration, in its briefs, had urged the judges to evaluate the executive order on the merits only, as it's not targeting Muslims. The government lawyers argued that the ban is necessary for the security officials to ensure that proper vetting is conducted to prevent threats. The courts haven't agreed.

As my people say that "he who fetched firewood infested with ants invited the lizards for picnic", Trump is the cause of his own problems. The NYT also wrote that it was candidate Trump who undercut President Trump's travel ban. That's the problem in life; sometimes we do or say things that will come back to hurt us later. The NYT wrote that rarely do a presidential candidate's own words so definitively haunt his presidency, but they do against Trump. For the second time in two months, two federal judges, on Wednesday, March 15, refused to allow President Trump to impose a travel ban, citing his campaign rhetoric as evidence of an improper desire to prevent Muslims from entering the United States. The judges' stunning rebukes were a vivid example of how Mr. Trump's angry, often xenophobic rallying cries during the campaign - which were so effective in helping to get him elected - have become legal and political liabilities now that he is in the Oval Office.

It is a lesson that presidents usually learn quickly: Difficult and controversial issues can easily be painted as black-and-white during a long campaign, but they are often more complicated for those who are in a position to govern. That is especially true for Mr. Trump's bellicose remarks about immigrants, which animated his upstart presidential campaign, but now threaten to get in the way of his broader agenda for a health care overhaul, tax cuts and infrastructure spending.

Trump might still have his way later on the travel ban, as the Supreme Court or any other higher court may grant his request on appeal, because, the constitution gives him the prerogative on how to protect the homeland; based on a section of a 1952 law that states that in any instance where the president thinks the entry "of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."

While some legal experts say Trump still has a strong chance of prevailing at the Supreme Court, based on arguments about executive powers, others have questioned whether comments coming from his administration have made it impossible to credibly argue that the ban is secular in nature.

One wonders why Trump is rushing this travel ban, and why he excluded the Muslim countries where he has business interests, many of which are the real producers of the terrorists.

Sometimes, one questions the sense behind some policies, even when there are other ways to get the same result, without causing raised eyebrows. Trump's travel ban can be achieved through other means, without hassles, and without people calling it that. What this administration should do is to ask the American consulate in those countries affected by the suspended travel ban to be more stringent by increasing and toughen screening for visa applicants over there. Even if those efforts would be labor-intensive and time consuming, it would worth it. Rather than a blanket ban, real extreme vetting of visa applicants in those countries would isolate potential terrorists, and the good ones will not be punished, for the "sins" of a few. What the consular services of the respective embassies in those affected countries should do is to change ways of doing things, by engaging in higher-level security screening, with the aim of frustrating those wanting to enter the United States to foment trouble. At a point those potential trouble makers will give up the plan of going to America, since they will be unable to meet the stringent visa requirements. They will be denied visa without anybody telling them the latent reason, and without them feeling any discrimination whatsoever based on their creed or color (nationality). Trump would then succeed, somehow, in "protecting the homeland against terrorist attacks", and no advocate or immigration lawyer or court or group would accuse him of been bias against any nationality or religion. Unfortunately, it's now too late to get it right again, as any effort to go it through this route now, would also fail, as people will be quick on the draw, because, Trump has tipped them off through his suspended executive orders. Common sense might not be common afterall: I sincerely doubt Trump's intelligence.

No matter what happens next, whether or not Trump's travel ban will be restored by a higher court, the damage has already been done, and Trump will never have any rapport with the judiciary as long as he remains in the White House. Win McNamee, in his article captioned: "court puts Trump's new Muslim ban in the trash, and buries it with receipts", concluded that there are two lessons here. First, you should never, ever discriminate on the basis of religion. But if for some bigoted and/or stupid reason you decide to do so anyway, don't spend months repeatedly promising people that you're going to do just that, and then insult the court's intelligence by trying to convince it that, nah, kidding, you actually meant something else all along. It won't end well.

The American institutions will frustrate President Trump, and he might end up a fatalistically resigned president, assuming he escapes impeachment along the line.






Continued from Part 1