Let’s put aside for a second the actual policy behind the Trump Administration’s ban on citizens of certain countries entering the United States.
Personally I think treating all citizens of a country as the same is bad policy. Tens of thousands of Iranians visit the US, and even study there. They are the best hope of their country one day throwing off their theocratic despots. I’d want more of them, not less.
But even if you disagree with me and think the policy is a sound one, the incompetent way it has been implemented should ring warning bells for the chaos and likely incompetence of the Trump administration.
Major law changes like this should be notified well in advance in draft form, allow a period for feedback and clarity to be gained, and then finalised and published. Lawyers should be involved to make sure it is legal and clear. And it should have an implementation date that gives authorities time enough to prepare.
The chaos that has ensured would not have happened if any semblance of normal Government process occurred. Instead it looks like the directive was drawn up by White House staff, and Department of Homeland Security lawyers kept out of the loop.
This has resulted in the following:
- Permanent residents of the United States who are temporarily overseas not knowing if they can return to their country of legal residence and home where their families are.
- No clarity on how it impacts dual citizens such as Iranian British citizens. So someone who fled the Islamic regime in the 1970s and lives in the UK may have been impacted by this.
- No clarity on how it affects those who had already gained visas to enter the United States
- No clarity on if it applied to people who had already boarded a flight when it was promulgated
So even if you think the policy is a good thing, you should be alarmed at the incompetence involved in formulating and executing it. Now several Judges have suspended parts of it, as authorities struggle to even understand it. It’s a mess.
And try to think about the human lives this has impacted. Imagine you have lived in the United States for 30 years. Your family lives there. You were born in Iran but left Iran because you disagreed with the leadership of Iran. You are not even religious. You are travelling for work, and suddenly find you may not be able to return home to your husband/wife and kids. All because of where you were born.
Or this example of an Iraqi who has risked his life working with the US in Iraq.