DiscoverVox's The WeedsThe Don't-Call-It-A-Muslim-Ban

The Don't-Call-It-A-Muslim-Ban

Update: 2017-01-30
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Dara Lind joins Ezra and Matt to discuss Donald Trump's latest crackdown on immigrants and refugees.

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

the following podcast contains explicit language in the Look into the weeds boxes policy podcast and kind of thing where I met Yglesias but as usual by my colleague Ezra Klein and we have pride in special guest star Linda after a special episode of the weeds we are here to talk about some drastic events happening in that immigration policy over the weekend Donald Trump issued an executive order which immediately threw everyone into a state of of chaos and confusion may be dark and start this off by just recapping what did this order but it's a sure so there are two major components to the order is a lot of stuff that is going to get worked out over the next few months but immediately with the order did was it banned all refugees from riding in the last four hundred and twenty days with some small exceptions for example if they're persecuted religious minorities they're supposed to be able to come and it banned all immigrants Visa holders refugees et-cetera from seven majority Muslim countries Iraq Iran Libya Sudan Somalia Syria and Yemen and so anyone in either of those two circles upon arriving in U S was supposed to be sent back home they weren't even supposed to be able to get on things to us and so when in fact people were because they had been scheduled to do so cause massive panic as they were being detained at airports being coerced into signing deportation papers and being in many cases prevented from seeing lawyers which was both kind of a very dramatic demonstration of what the executive order was doing and also kind of just the tip of the iceberg because of course many people have been prevented from getting to the US it all over the next three months in the case of the country bans and four months in the case of the refuge of an odd reason when I get processed the fallout that this executive order has is just so much broader than we saw for the week and it's just the start so there are three different terms people have been using to refer to this I think it actually be useful to distinguish between them because all of them contain a portion of tree yes there is what it was originally called when Donald Trump first proposed it during the campaign the Muslim man there is on the refugee band which is a term I've seen a lot of people used to use myself and then there's also an immigrant than it actually as the fourth because a I think the way that cable is described as a travel ban which strikes me as massively and help now I don't think I think that is Cable's traditional obsessions with things that happened at airports great footage but which parts of the ban accord to which Tom share so I understand the instinct to call it a Muslim and because again as you said something he called for during the campaign there's a strong temptation to point out the Islam phobic underpinnings if you will of this policy which as we now know was written mostly by Steven van and Steven Miller in the White House rather than by counterterrorism people I don't think know who Steven Miller's I think people who yes has been to Stephen Miller is one of the I don't remember his acts his official title is one of the senior policy staff in the White House is also one of many White House staffers who was a former staffer for Jeff sessions who is now the attorney general nominee and who has been in Congress one of the strongest opponents of not only unauthorized illegal immigration so just like with Steve and you can kind of see his intellectual influence in what President Trump just signed you can see B sessions interest in keeping people who are going to be a drain on government benefits or going to take American jobs from coming to the US then have sister to go back and we have he said there's the temptation called the Muslim and ready to ask about that for minute was on the one hand this is not with Donald Trump originally proposed rate is no Muslims can travel to or from the United States but the way they structured I don't need to beef up about this but it sort of like and not all Muslims ban the way to structured is you have seven Muslim majority countries on which you have a full ban on immigration but except for religious minorities which is a Non Muslims from these Muslim majority countries well so this is actually one of the interesting things that I and a bunch of other people had kind of assumed that the religious minorities clause in this order was going to apply across the board we've actually seen some evidence that as part of the extremely narrow down the line draconian interpretation of this order that Syrian Christians are getting sent back which actually if you look at the text of the order the country bans don't have a loophole in explicit religious minorities loophole it's just kind of a head case by case in the religious minorities loophole comes in on the future than it is theoretically possible that despite swearing up and down that this is going to protect Middle East Christians President Rob has just signed an order that won't do that but you're right he has said explicitly trying to protect Middle Eastern Christians so on Friday he were a Christian broadcasting Network and said exactly way this works because it's confusing because this bowl for a ban on refugee and there's a ban on seven countries one of the seven countries is Syria and also largess sort of source of refugees in the news is Seri Rais and there's also an explicit indefinite ban even after one hundred and twenty day window expires on letting in any refugees from Syria and Syria is also one of the Middle Eastern countries with the largest Christian population sewed these different things interact differently but in principle all a Chris chin refugee from a hypothetical conflict in Lebanon could be led and under the minorities was all but a Syrian Christian refugee couldn't because even though he would be a refugee and thus entitled to the loop all he would also be Syrian Rite does not hide that is what the text of the order says and you know I think we're going to see over the next few weeks especially as you know the kind of drama at airports if if that calms down a little bit we may start to see how this is playing out in practice on other fronts but you know the flip side of you know when you call them and but I think that's very important to note most of the countries that have the biggest Muslim immigrant populations in the US Saudi Arabia Pakistan a kind of thing are not restricted by this ban there was a solid counter terrorism argument that maybe there should be a little bit more attention to countries that have more connections to terrorism but many Muslim immigrants in the US are not being affected right now those countries could be added later but my real concern with calling a Muslim man is that what we've seen over the weekend is this affecting real people's lives and there's a lot of uncertainty about who can travel and where they should be able to travel to and you know I think it's simultaneously really important to talk about you know the intellectual heritage of this and what President from even trying to do and to say there are people who this affects who live in the US and it doesn't affect me there's a lot I want to come back to it there around both intellectual heritage and what he was trying to do that there's a lot to back but before we move from here I do want to talk a bit about this refugee band and then unheard of that is an immigration ban and he just delineate those too Sir first of all they're separated in the executive order because the immigration ban is your specific to those seven countries and hypothetical countries to be added in the future but the refugee program is deliberately designed so that the US is taking in people who are persecuted elsewhere it is very different from other programs because it isn't supposed to care about what can you do for us it's supposed to be about what we can do for you and so there's been some attention especially as the Syrian refugee crisis has kind of become the central refugee crisis around the world to you well we should at least make sure the terrorists are using this there's a two year screening process it takes a very long time for someone to resettle us but by cutting off refugees in particular for her in twenty days and you know then only allowing them from certain countries after that the US really is changing the way that it looks at this particular program it's mostly about persecution the immigration ban on those seven countries is simultaneously much broader and a little bit narrower because it's broader in the eight facts until last night green card holder his home it affects people who have been living on work visas were moving here on student visas et-cetera But it's also once those ninety days are over in theory those seven countries should be allowed back in people from his own country should be allowed back in and the US is going to making decisions based on excluding countries where as with the refugee bet it's going to specifically wait lists which countries can come and so the way that those two work is very different and it's entirely possible that after ninety days is the refuge of an Alaskan immigration panel kind of what is the point of this temporary nature here so we figure out what's going on I write which of course getting up close it accords to that yeah um this is where the executive order kind of punts and when I said earlier that you know there are things they're going to be worked out over the next few months is the kind of thing we're looking at an executive order implies that by the time as many days are over U S government will come up with a new and somehow foolproof strategy that asks everyone who is trying to come to the US you know whether they and can prove we're going to be a terrorist when they're here they can prove they're going to be good for the national interest that kind of thing that like these new screening process will have been developed that all immigrants will then have together that's kind of the purpose there on the refugee front those people are also going to be subjected to that but there's also this presumption that we can't really trust any country that is actually likely to send refugees because by doing this on a country by country basis what the U S is saying is we will only accept refugees from countries where we can trust their already safeguards in place so it's basically mandating a certain level of stability so the way that those two things are going to have come back online is different one is going to be about what screening processes have be in the US developed the other is going to be about where can we as the US seem that this government is simultaneously persecuting people enough that they can be refugees and a stable enough that we can trust their screening out terrorists it's worth Sir going back to that Jeff sessions the intellectual heritage of some of this right because clearly one store and at work here is Donald Trump had this idea as a primary candidate that there was a lot of Islamophobia in the Republican base so he could make this outlandish let's ban all Muslims thing and he would work for him politically he did that and then it's kind of refined down to this category but sessions is a really like up a profound immigration skeptic in a way that it seems like a line of Republican politicians have kind a playable sides of the fence on immigration for for years or have tried to exploit it for some kind of political issue war are specifically targeting the undocumented population but sessions is like he's really obsessed with the summer travel visa program has too many loopholes in it or are some of these guys on manager transfer visas aren't really manager is and it seems like is just interested in kicking the tires of the whole system just like find ways to keep people out yeah I really think that can't be overstated we are seeing the Republican Party forced to acknowledge that it can play Wii we like legal immigrants we don't like unauthorized immigrants card with this administration this administration has to restrict illegal immigration either in the name of terrorism or in the name of protecting American workers are in the name of protecting American culture and values and we're beginning to see that with this order sessions is often particularly skeptical of the refugee program as are a lot of other conservatives including ban because you know they're concerned the refugees are taking to many government benefits as I mentioned the purpose of letting refugees is not supposed to be because they're going to make vigilance of dollars but there's that kind of assumption that the only reason to let someone into the US is if they're going to be good for the people who are already here this is I guess going to be defunct but we should talk about the the extension of this green card holders which seems like where they moved from something that people would have complained about but that probably could've stuck into something that went too far for the system so I mean let's be really basic but what's a Greek anyone who's not a citizen of the US can under certain circumstances be important but if you have legal permanent residency which is what's called a green card to the government has accepted that you're going to live in the US for if you want to the rest of your life as long as you don't commit a serious crime in a most visas are temporary and have certain conditions attached being a legal permanent resident in a basically the process that you go through to tell the US I want to stay here have the USA that's fine that's cool so legal permanent residents do not have homes outside the US in in ninety nine out of a hundred cases like they go to the same passport check line as citizens it is a sin ok so by keeping people who have green cards from coming back to the US like happens to be traveling abroad over this weekend most people that offends them because if you ask someone who's an American yes some people are going to assume that American citizens by the knee jerk reaction of oh well someone's lived here for ten years and this is their home that's fine the idea that it is acceptable and even a good idea to prevent people whose home is in the US from coming back here makes sense if you define Americans as strictly American citizens particularly native born citizens and just aren't particularly concerned with the quote on quote inconvenience that happens for other people in political terms I mean green card holders have coworkers and bosses and landlords and spouses and all kinds of other people work at Google just connections to mean stream American society right they are fully integrated member is there an eye you see them all the time in your office or are your church or wherever and it makes it a much broader circle of people are going to look around and say oh wait this is somebody who I know then if you're talking about refuge yeah I mean I'd I don't want to run the counter factual too far here because I do think that the reason of attention paid to green card holders over the weekend was because of what we found out about how this policy was developed or eight am from what we know from reporting now that DHS the Department of Homeland Security looked at the order after it'd been signed on Friday night and said We don't think this applies to green card holders and the White House said no guesses as to which is not usually how you run things and that of course there are contradictory statements from members of the government as to whether or not it did I think that's a lot of the reason we focused on this and I think that some of the objections that we've seen from the science community from the tech community are not just about real card holders but also about people who have high skilled work visas and other people who are more integrated into the US than refugees are and so it's going to be interesting to see after green card holders have been exempted how much of that when also pull this too narrow I do want to say that I think a lot of the backlash a lot of the anger comes from people who are just morally outraged the Spirit of his executive power I agree with that but I know and is images I just think that's it I just don't want as we are three things that happen here it seems to me one is people hate what this stands for this feels to them like a country to country they don't recognize because America is often done things like this This is as Bill Matthews put it in an amazing pieces weekend this is fully lined the worst of American traditions is nothing unusual here one is good people who really really are offended by this to folks for whom it went too far and that knowledge to go too far morally but also went too far away that will disrupt their business it will disrupt allies will disrupt their church their neighborhood whatever and the third which I also think is not in considerable because you're seeing this as a place for a lot of Republicans are using it as their off ramp it was dawning and competently in addition to one it's bad and to a close too far there's also three it was managed in an insane way the executive order itself is poorly written it into basic workers give it a delayed start date to people on a plane when it was signed there something that happened when they landed that was clear it appears he didn't run it by the Office of Legal counsel or if they did they did not get a serious on it but is now her prayer is that the Office of Legal counsel did read it they are not saying whether or not they said it was Lee shore and this last part and this goes to a lined or you had about what might be trying to do this is an order that has been structured so poorly that in part its own failures have become its weaknesses so it created an emergency stay over the weekend on the deportations people currently hear from a Brooklyn judge to hear bit about that because I was talking to some experienced lawyers who are just incredibly angry about this quarter but the one thing they're happy about was the order was so badly done would be easier to challenge in court that is absolutely I cop to having understated how vague this was I was reading over it on Friday and especially because the president has so much authority over refugees and because the US has extremely broad authority to keep people from entering U S even if they have valid visas once you have a valid visa you can still be prevented from being admitted to the US which is what we've seen happen over the weekend so I assumed that this was not going to be terribly It Challenge able to see not one but four federal judges on Saturday night immediately respond to challenges that have been brought with something bad has happened here and we need to stop this from being enforced until the government has its act together is really startling especially for those of us who've been following the extent to which the judiciary to first to the executive immigration the extent to which they refer the executive when ever the executive can pull a national security card this has been a really interesting turn in the judiciary is relationship with the executive and a lot of that has been because even in the court hearing in Brooklyn the government didn't appear to be aware of how many people was currently holding at airports it didn't appear to be aware of all the details of how this was being implemented and that has you know it doesn't just have political consequences for giving Republicans an off ramp it also has set a really strong tone for what insurers can be ongoing litigation about this order because it's going to be much harder for the government to turn up in a hearing on the merits of the order in a month and say well this was very carefully crafted to comply with the Constitution when we now know that it was a carefully crafted all Jonathan Bernstein the political scientist and Bloomberg columnist he he has this sort of coinage that he likes to use about that the presidential branch of government versus the executive branch by that he means like the people who are not Senate confirmed able you know who work in the in the White House are the presidential ranch in one of things I think you tried to see hear was people from the presidential branch do this without the input and buy in from like a larger circle of executive branch stakeholders and that led to some of that outcomes that dar was talking I mean it appeared that the people from the U S Attorney's Office in the Eastern District went to shop the court had not developed a legal argument to me right they got a phone call and had to show up but they weren't prepared which is a distinction from this not I think a formal legal requirement to that when you do something that you know is going to be controversial you've run it through Justice Department lawyers you come up with this is what we're going to say if we are planning to court you send that memo out to the different offices but that is the way the government does things because if you show up at a federal judge's emergency hearing you don't have answers to these kinds of questions it certainly creates an opening for the judge to rule against you if they want to write and when you have it seems like Willie a small handful of people in the White House cook this up without like running by everybody I guess because they don't want to leak or something A It seems I gave contradictory stories coming out today as to why they did this way but like some signed at a press conference with Secretary of Defense mad s who now is saying my name even read it he cited minutes after the swarm Addison the ceremony all crazy I mean it looked to me like that was a moment where they were asserting dominance over mass ranks the air then put them like signed the sort of basically nobody saw this I would not be surprised if he not even yet officially his position didn't either then they handed the folded hem and it's like you're in this now buddy and meanwhile John Kelly the secretary of homeland security was apparently on a briefing call about the order when he saw on TV president from signing him which it is unhealthy is Don I this is it's given that Madison Kelly or two of the people who many of the Trump skeptics were most confident and because they saw them as being they were attracted to them by the for the same reason that Rob was attracted to the right they have or be for being tough talk in general and Trump likes that swagger and the frum skeptics were like Well these are principled men they will stand up to trumpet its necessary I think we've seen over the last week that this whole we're going to let the cabinet officials make policy is not what is happening and it's going to be very interesting as a Trump White House question what people like Madison Kelly do in that environment but I think the other thing about what Matt is saying about the presidential race's executive branches there are also opportunities for low level opportunistic both the devil is in cruelty when you don't have policy coming down from the top in a way it's been clearly defined and it is not for Customs and Border Protection agents to be very aggressive in the way that they enforce the law it is certainly a part of the reason why they along with other immigration agents have been politically so supportive of President Trump and some of what we saw over the weekend was what happens when people this is an agency that doesn't have a commissioner right now it's coming it has an acting commissioner the commissioner resigned on Thursday there aren't many senior people when security have been confirmed what happens when they get the text of an order from the president and are kind of tool do with this what you well and kind of the stories we've heard of people not being allowed to see lawyers of green card holders being asked if they love their country a lot of ridiculous things that are heroically within the government's power but are still not something that from a policy or moral perspective you would expect people would be trying to do what I think some were going to have to see as to what extent are the presidents of the CBP and ICE unions like the real homeland security secretary here right these are people who Trump has a close relationship with who we know he's consulted with throughout the campaign where very politically supportive of him to have a means of communication to rank and file enforcement officers John Kelly is a man who has a lot of respect on Capitol Hill whose confirmation sale do very easily who because he ran Southern Command as a as a military officer was sort of policy connection to immigration for some issues but as I have a personal relationship with the rank and file officers like that and does not appear to have the personal confidence of Donald Trump Friday when Trump is thinking what should I sign this thing or not it did not occur to him to say I might call my homeland security secretary and see what he thinks about that and you know that's going to be something that Kelly is going to have to think about right I mean does he want to be the frontman for an agency that he's not really running which is a problem and in a lot of different cabinet departments but we had a weekend of chaos right of court orders of members of Congress showing up at airports doing tweets about how people would define orders I listen to them and he was nowhere administration didn't put him on the Sunday shows he was not as far as we know on the phone with members of Congress he was a reassuring Chuck Schumer but he also was reassuring to McCain he was I don't know where and then when they finally come out with the idea that they've been reversed themselves on the green cards his name is on that statement but you know that's like what your cabinet secretaries are therefore write is to be an intermediary when people have questions when there's confusion and he was not put out there either publicly or privately to do that because apparently he's not involved in any of the relevant decision make so I do want to use is a momentous step back we are it is strange to say this we are ten days into the Trump presidency all the stuff that has happened in ten days and I think one thing that is that we can now say confidently is a surge in fury of Trump be in moderation as president has been proven false I think what a lot of people believed was going to happen and the choices people like mass Kelly were big part of this argument was that Trump has these maybe policy intuitions he says a lot of things that contradict each other on the stump he has some ideas he had some policies because he's not to attach to any of them and this was a hole like picture of seriously but not literally thing and that was going to happen is he would get into office and all the sudden he would have the information the president has the briefings the president has the staff the president has the cabinet secretary the president has and within this world where information is being structured for him in a much more professional way he felt the weight of the office and where he had advisor saying oh no if you do that all the airports will fall into chaos and everybody will hate you that he would end up running a much more cautious and thoughtful and program magically sound version of Trump is and what actually happened was the opposite he came in looked around a bureaucracy that does not like him as leaky is potentially hostile to him he brought in a couple people who are less well known and have their own public profiles but clearly does not trust their loyalty to him and so the thing that is in fact happening is that Trump is and is being defined and drawn out and made into programs by the folks who are frankly to his right immigration policies being flushed out by Jeff sessions and sort of sessions world of the acolytes the refugee and immigration ban is being done very powerful it seems by Steve Barron and among the just a very small group of others and so very far from Trump being moderated by the people around him in the White House it appears he's actually retreating back into the group of people who do hold the same opinions he does but unlike the sort of convenience story told about Trump which is if you don't like one of his opinions don't worry too much about because he probably doesn't really hold it this policy is being flushed up of people who do hold these opinions who have thought about how to flush it out and so doesn't end up in exactly the same for maybe some initially suggested but it is what becomes policy and my sense is that part frankly how you prove loyalty Trump is that you show you actually agree with him and I just want to take moment on this because I think it is profound I think there was a theory a lot of people how about Trump and why he would be a better president than he was a candidate I think a lot of Republicans held the city I think it's the core of like the Peter keel is him around Trump and it is just proving to be bullshit I think it's I I all of that is true I think there's also kind of a cousin to that theory which was that in no Trump was never all that interested in policy was mostly interested in signaling and therefore the fact that he was sending the fact that he was playing to this Islamic phobia and xenophobia in the bays was you know he just like the attention there are other people in the room we're going to be making policy and that logic only makes sense if you don't believe that anyone really in their heart believes that immigration is bad for the United States I think we've seen because the Republican Party has been at doing such a balancing act over the last really decade where they understand some benefits of immigration they also understand the benefit of looking tough on immigration and you know and being tough on immigration is it people have kind of assumed that any language about being tough is just rhetoric and in practice Republicans really care about the policy equities at play here this is what a policy that isn't about weighing equities bit of the phrase America First is more apt when describing this order that came down over the weekend that was in that prior week of the presidency this is what policy looks like
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The Don't-Call-It-A-Muslim-Ban