Dara Adib

Hello world, I’m Dara and this is my homepage.

Not to be confused with the underperforming Darapladib or the infamous Daraprim.

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Regarding Executive Order 13769

January 28, 2017

Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order denying entry of people from (currently) seven Muslim-majority countries, regardless of visa or lawful permanent residency.

President Trump has already degraded undocumented immigrants into scapegoats and bargaining chips. He has done the same for refugees. And he is now apparently willing to extend this abuse to lawful permanent residents. There are striking parallels to the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Even if lawful permanent residents are allowed reentry by the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security “on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest”, the very possibility of selectively or arbitrarily denying entry could pose a chilling effect on freedom of expression. Similarly, the preference to individuals of a “minority religion” conflicts with freedom of religion and the establishment clause.

Moreover, the executive order justifies this misguided and immoral policy with a broad choice of words:

Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals…

So what about the other foreign-born individuals, the naturalized citizens? Are they the next target?

I am disturbed by the blatant yet ironic disregard for the well-being of Americans, even in spite of the widespread condemnation that this executive order would undoubtedly receive. I am concerned by the belligerent views in this presidential administration, which irresponsibly risk armed conflict.

I worry that acts of violence in the coming years may be falsely blamed on the (well-deserved) rejection of this executive order in the coming weeks. I worry that acts of violence will be misused for discriminatory measures against scapegoats in the delusional name of security.

We are days away from the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the infamous internment of Japanese Americans, also in the name of security. A repeat of history would be cruelly fitting.

Perhaps we should instead consider the subsequent paragraph of the executive order:

The United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including…forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Let’s start with the commander-in-chief.

Update January 30, 2016

Two days later, the presidential administration has backed off from outright denying entry of lawful permanent residents. Homeland Security Secretary Kelly issued a statement:

In applying the provisions of the president’s executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest. Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.

While this is a positive step, the White House overruled the Department of Homeland Security’s initial interpretation that the executive order did not apply to lawful permanent residents. That interpretation would have been more reassuring.

I am still troubled by the unnecessary vagueness and uncertainty. I hope that the fear of a “serious threat” will not be misused, as it has been in the executive order. We should not have to depend on public condemnation in order to protect American values.

Unfortunately, the executive order’s (hopefully temporary) ban on refugees and visas for nationals of these countries, which apparently includes dual citizens of other countries (though some favorites like Canada and the UK may be exempted), is still in place.


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