What Trump's treatment of refugees tells you about his plans for Americans

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/30/what-his-treatment-of-refugees.html



Under the best of circumstances passing through a U.S. border control can give citizens an idea of what it’s like to live in an America where the Bill of Rights is not fully operational.

These are not the best of circumstances.


United States needs to be on the list of countries who citizens have killed Americans. By many orders of magnitude difference. Just sayin’.


Yea but they can’t exclude us. Somebody has to manage the hedge funds, yknow.


Eh, but to be fair, the list either matches or closely matches the countries we already had tighter travel restrictions under Obama. So I have less of a problem with the countries on the list. It mirrors past policy. Those four have long been on the “allies list”, with us having a base in Turkey, and personnel in the other three. Iraq is an odd ball being in the “bad list”.

However, the problem is 1) I don’t see any reason for additional crack downs or process changes. 2) Assuming there were good reasons to revise processes, it could have been done using a different method than just flipping over the table and scream, “Start over!” 3) it’s more bullshit in the interest of “security”.

For those interested in the actual text of the bill here you go:


I am wary of this line of thinking as it implies that the ban doesn’t go far enough.


This move by Trump strikes me as political theatrics, and may not necessarily presage further isolationism and xenophobic idiocy, as the headline implies. It’s not going well, of course, because it’s so arbitrary and ham-fisted, but it’s a sop to his base. Supporters of his whom I know think it’s great, just great. Most of them can’t or won’t see that immigrants are a huge net positive to this country.

My fear – besides it being un-American, stupid, and yes, un-Christian, is the unintended consequences. One example: when smart, educated foreigners no longer see America as a refuge for their dreams, they’ll take their talents elsewhere. You’re welcome, Canada!


That is to say, the administration is testing the extent to which the DHS (and other executive agencies) can act and ignore orders from the other branches of government. This is as serious as it can possibly get: all of the arguments about whether order X or Y is unconstitutional mean nothing if elements of the government are executing them and the courts are being ignored.

I keep saying variants of this over and over. People just don’t get it. The constitution is a piece of paper with no effect unless people respect it. Trump doesn’t seem to be capable of respect. People arguing that the constitution will stop this or that have to get it through their heads that if Trump wants to do this or that, the only things that will stop him are:

  1. Mutiny by the FBI, DHS and military; OR
  2. Violence

If I were a non-citizen here with a foreign passport from any Arab country I’d be hesitant to leave unless I was ok with never coming back. No, Pakistan is not on the list. But it would get added to it if a bunch of Pakistani nationals shot up a theater or something.

I have friends here from Pakistan on H1 visas. And they got mortgages despite not even being permanent residents. I was very surprised. I wonder if banks will be a little more cautious about that now.


That’s your fear? Not enough high-tech employees? You seem to think things are more or less normal, and everything will shake out fine in the end.

You might be wrong.


Okay, now over here by this fun chute.


xkot clearly stated that his fear lay with “unintended consequences”… a general statement. Then he just as clearly gave “one example”. Just… one… example. I got absolutely zero feel that xkot seems to think that things are more or less normal, etc. Just my opinion based on what xkot actually posted.


I don’t think this is an unintended consequence. Trump wants to discourage immigrants from coming here. And the sudden, chaotic nature of this ban reinforces that and makes people see coming to US as more risky.


And that’s from the Cato Institute? Another rat abandoning the sinking ship.


Tony Benn was a Minister of Parliament

I think you mean Member of Parliament, (he was also a minister in various departments during his time as an MP, but Minister of Parliament isn’t a thing).


A very instructive quote. Very glad it was shared.


Of course that’s not my only fear, not by a long shot. Sorry for singling out that one talking point. And to be clear, I wasn’t just talking about high-tech employees. Immigrants bring vitality to our country in countless ways.

Trump’s fear-mongering, stupidity, lack of humanity, chaos, illegality, un-Americanism, and on and on are all obvious and out there. My point was that besides all of that, there are a raft of other unintended consequences, of which loss of those considering bringing their yearning to breathe free to our shores, is only one. There are other counterintuitive consequences of this action, like, say, increased terrorism. I expect (and dread) that too. His followers probably don’t.

I’m hoping that he’s just trying to look all leader-y in his first days with dumbass moves like this. With enough pushback from people like you and me, maybe we can stop any further “plans” hinted at in this article’s headline. If you haven’t contacted your congressfolks yet, do so!


This is all part of the plan:

  1. Make outrageous promises
  2. Implement outrageous promises
  3. (When outrageous promises encounter opposition) Identify and blame opposition for failure to fulfil outrageous promises
  4. Crush opposition while his base cheers for more blood
  5. Implement outrageous promises with expanded scope

Repeat as needed.

I am truly terrified. There is approximately 30-40% of the electorate that seem to uncritically accept anything this man does.