OPINION — Media hysteria with its half-truths and outright lies about Trump’s immigration order has died down. George Soros’ rent-a-protest crowds are fading away. Democratic politicians have taken their knee-jerk opposition to anything Trump to some new outrage.
The rollout of Trump’s order that produced all this angst was a disaster and a gift to the left. A novice administration prized secrecy and surprise over competence. It should have coordinated implementation with the relevant agencies and congressional leaders before springing it late on a Friday afternoon.
The flawed rollout produced photo ops of refugees stuck in airports and mass confusion about others holding green cards and tourist visas. These in turn prompted a flurry of lawsuits from wannabe stars of the progressive left. Now the courts will decide whether the order is constitutional and legal.
Regardless of the legal outcome, a major question remains: Would we be safer? If found legal, would Trump’s immigration order reduce the chances of terrorist atrocities in our country?
In my opinion, no, it wouldn’t. Even if Trump’s immigration order is struck down, we are already at greater risk. Let me explain.
First, only 11 of the 180 persons arrested or killed for terror activities in this country since 2001 came from the seven designated countries. The nation most likely to produce terrorists may surprise you: the United States.
Eighty-one of the 180 were U.S. citizens. Not refugees, not legal or illegal aliens but citizens. A number of these were self-radicalized Muslims with no prior criminal history. We have no chance of finding all such people in advance of terrorist acts.
Second, Trump’s order makes hitting the U.S. a bigger prize for any terrorist worth his AK-47 and improvised explosive device. What better than to put egg on Trump’s face by striking now? With dozens of potential citizen-jihadists and hundreds of would-be foreign terrorists from nonrestricted countries, expect shocking headlines this year.
Third, by pouring fuel on a fire, Trump’s order has already enhanced ISIS and al-Qaida recruiting. What better than defending the faith now that the great Satan has exposed himself? Never mind that almost all Muslim refugees are fleeing the Islamic State group, or ISIS, or al-Qaida violence in their home countries.
Fourth: Our relationship with many other countries has been made more difficult. Most Muslim-majority countries interpreted the order as anti-Muslim. Allies Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt are in a particularly difficult position. Other longtime allies including Great Britain, Germany, France, Australia and Japan expressed dismay.
These reactions were aided and abetted by our liberal media and Democratic politicians. Typifying Democratic hypocrisy, Sen. Schumer, D-New York, came to tears when discussing the order but had proposed pausing Syrian refugee admissions himself only 15 months ago.
So the damage is done, whether the order stands or not. Future diplomatic efforts in the Middle East are compromised. Changing perceptions will take years of patient work, not a Trump forte.
A large number of refugees fled from Muslim majority countries in recent years. How are they doing in their new surroundings? Experience to date is mixed but not always encouraging.
European countries admitting Muslim refugees have discovered that they often choose not to assimilate. France’s experience painfully illustrates this problem. Refugee unemployment is high, Muslim young men are alienated and susceptible to Islamist propaganda and a number of terrorist attacks have followed.
By contrast in the U.S., a majority of our 5 million-7 million Muslims converted here and are fully integrated into our society. Most of us find the occasional woman’s hajib no more threatening than a Jewish yarmulke or Catholic crucifix.
But we too have instances where Muslim immigrants have chosen not to integrate. For example, a significant Somali community in Minnesota furnished ISIS recruits in recent years. Firebrand imams in some U.S. mosques have incited anti-American sentiments among immigrants. (Then again, so did firebrand Jeremiah Wright, the Obamas’ preacher for 20 years.)
Our Constitution protects freedom of speech and association but reasonable citizens can only hope that the FBI and local police forces are monitoring situations like these. Unreasonable citizens, aka progressives and the mainstream media, call this Muslim profiling and object. But with the possibility of dozens of casualties on the line, I opt for court-approved, targeted surveillance.
Bottom line: Has Trump’s order made us safer? No, we are not. Some promises made on the campaign trail are best forgotten or at least tempered by reality.
Howard Sierer is a developing columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.