Saturday, January 28, 2017

Trump Signs Executive Actions Enacting Muslim Ban, "Extreme Vetting" And Military Expansion

At the Pentagon for a swearing-in ceremony for his new Defense Secretary Ret. Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis, Donald Trump signed two new executive orders.

One of them vowed to make major changes to America’s policies on refugees and immigration that Trump claimed would keep foreign terrorists from entering the US and the other on rebuilding the military.

Trump said of the first executive order...

I am establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. We don’t want them here. We don’t want to admit into our country the very threats we are fighting overseas.

As it was not clear what’s in the order the president signed on live television, hours later the White House released details of the executive order titled...

 “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States.” 

Included in the order is...

• An indefinite suspension of the United States’ Syrian refugees program. order directs the State Department to stop issuing visas to Syrian nationals and halts the processing of Syrian refugees. This includes all women and all children of any age. 
• A call for the Pentagon and the State Department to create a plan for safe zones in and around Syria to offer protection for Syrians fleeing the war there. 
• A 120-day suspension of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program intended to provide time to review how refugees are vetted before they are allowed to resettle in the United States.  
• A cap of the number of refugees from other countries at 50,000 people in in fiscal year 2017, saying more than that “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” 
• The action says that when U.S. Refugee Admissions Program admissions resume, the Secretary of State in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security is directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, “to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” (In other words anyone but Muslims). 
• The order directed officials to the review the refugee application and approval process to find any other security measures that can be added to prevent people who pose a threat from using the refugee program. 
• The implementation of a suspension of all immigration from countries with terrorism concerns for 90 days. It was unclear  which countries would be affected, though a leaked draft of the order pointed to a legal provision that identified Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, all majority-Muslim countries, for at least 30 days.  
• A call for Homeland Security and State Department officials, along with the director of national intelligence, to review what information the government needs to fully vet would-be visitors and come up with a list of countries that don’t provide it. 
• A 60 day time limit to other countries to provide the information or citizens from those countries will be barred from traveling to the United States.

Mr. Trump also signed another executive action promising “a great rebuilding of the armed services of the United States.” as Mr. Trump promised, among other things, new planes, new ships, resources and tools for the nation’s men and women in uniform.

There was, however, no mention of how his administration planned to pay for any of the new planes, new ships, resources and tools.

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