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When is a Travel Ban Not a Travel Ban?

Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. Twice the courts have struck down the travel ban against Muslims he promised repeatedly during his presidential campaign. In response, his spokespeople denied that it was a travel ban against Muslims. For example, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said “It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s not a travel ban. It’s a vetting system to keep America safe.” And the head of Homeland Security said that Trump’s executive order stopping immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries was “not a travel ban“. Just Thursday, Trump asked the Supreme Court to revive his (not a) travel ban.

And then, something happened Saturday night in London. A vehicle plowed into a group of pedestrians on London Bridge. Minutes later some people were stabbed in a nearby marketplace. Some were dead. The British PM announced that it was “a potential act of terrorism” and the initial news hit the US airwaves.

That was enough for Trump. He tweeted:

Do you see what he did here? First of all, he used a tragedy in another country to promote a political agenda here. And he did it even before it was established that the event was actually terrorism, and before he knew whether Muslims were involved. Trump the bigot just filled in the details to fit his agenda.

More to the point of this post, he used the term “Travel Ban”. He even capitalized it (and didn’t put quotation marks around it). Is there any chance in hell that any court (including the Supreme Court) will not believe that Trump is promoting a travel ban?

And I cannot help but note that he felt compelled to blurt this out immediately, as the tragedy was initially unfolding. Just a week earlier, when two Americans died by stabbing at the hands of a known white supremacist who was verbally assaulting two Muslim women, Trump said nothing. Four days later (and after enormous public pressure) a tweet did appear, but it was from the @POTUS Twitter account, not @realDonaldTrump, so it almost certainly wasn’t from Trump himself, and it weakly said that the attack was “unacceptable”.

Again, based on Trump’s own words and actions, how can any court see that Trump’s travel ban is all about Muslims and is thus based on religion, and therefore clearly violates the constitution?



  1. Hassan wrote:

    Also, the ban was temporary for 90 days. and it has been more than that since order was issued. So supreme court can ask if they have done what they wanted to do in meantime? I mean no one was stopping them for coming up with what they wanted to do anyways.

    Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Well, the original ban included a permanent ban against Syria. But you have a good point. What’s been keeping them from figuring out a better way to handle immigrants and visitors other than an outright ban?

    I suspect the answer is that Trump really wants to keep his promise of a Muslim ban to his base.

    Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  3. Wildwood wrote:

    But, but he used the word “Travel” not Muslim. Plus he used capital letters. Surely that must make everyone see what a bigly great idea it is.

    Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink
  4. Jonah wrote:

    Talking of hypocrites, he managed to get in some quality time to play golf. LOL. Criticized Saddiq Khan for saying people shouldn’t get alarmed and then goes ahead and follows his advice. And we are paying for this charade. I think he thinks he’s still in show biz and his duty is to entertain. Or he has the balls to think the public wouldn’t mind him doing what he criticized Obama for doing. I’m surprised that even his most ardent supporters aren’t annoyed at his excessive time at the links instead of driving immigrants away and creating more jobs.

    Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  5. Wildwood wrote:

    Jonah, they have convinced themselves that he is the second coming, somehow. What is alarming to me, is that one of my step-nephews is retired military and currently in DC working with something to do with military and he thinks Drumpf is great. If the military is brainwashed into following him, we have a real problem. Has anyone seen any stats on that?

    Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  6. ebdoug wrote:

    1) those on Military bases are losing support of trump

    2) what the mayor of London was referring to was the increase military presence in London, not the massacre. Of course, the Mayor is muslim so he doesn’t count

    3) what happened in Portland was an act of Terrorism that Trump chose to ignore because the man’s skin was white.

    Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
  7. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Here’s what I know and think about the “travel ban”.
    We do have a problem with refugees masking their intentions while requesting status to enter the country. It was very bad over the last several years and we let in many players that keep the FBI up at night. Not just a few, but 1000’s.(the U.K. Estimates they have 20-30 thousand) We are getting better but it’s a slow process as the behemoth gov’t doesn’t correct itself that quickly.
    The real problem with the refugees is once they are granted entry, they cannot be removed. The only way to stop them is while they are on foreign soil. The minute they pass thru the gate legaly they are considered US persons and have rights.
    How some of the people here got in I’ll never know, but they are bad. The FBI is watching many, but the problem with US persons is they can’t be detained or arrested for thinking about doing bad things, just after they actually start putting the plan into action or launch an attack. That is the challenge of the law enforcement community. And if they recruit someone else to commit the attack we are pretty much helpless. As we shrink their territory in the sandbox, they will strike out more frequently. Our London and Manchester are coming.

    And yes, the supremist who attempted to harm the 2 ladies and killed 2 of their defenders should be shot, or barbequed in a cage like Daesh would do.

    Monday, June 5, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

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