Double Standard Hits Trump on Immigration

News: Commentary
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  January 30, 2017   

No outcry when Obama turned back Cuban refugees last month

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WASHINGTON ( - The double standard of the mainstream media, Democrat leaders, social justice bishops and those protesting President Donald Trump's immigration policy is illuminated by their silence on similar issues.

When President Trump signed his executive order January 27, blocking entry into the United States by unvetted immigrants from terrorist-friendly nations, the media, congressmen, bishops and protesters rushed to judgment. These four sectors remained quiet, however, when former President Obama, just weeks prior, suddenly ended a 50-year policy granting asylum to Cuban refugees fleeing the oppressive Castro regime.

Headlines call Trump's policy a "Muslim ban," but no one called Obama's ban on refugees from Cuba, a predominantly Christian country, a "Christian ban." Similarly, when Obama banned Iraqi refugees from immigrating in 2011, pundits, politicos, bishops and laymen didn't call it a Christian ban even though it primarily affected Chaldean Catholics.

Trump's recent executive order restricts immigration from destabilized countries for 90 days until proper records can be obtained for their citizens. Obama's ban on Iraqi immigrants lasted for six months. The lame-duck president's ban on Cuban refugees was permanent.

Many people expressed anger that Trump's recent policy held up people at airports. Some thought it wrong that Trump would deport these unvetted immigrants back to their country of origin, possibly putting them in harm's way. U.S. District Court Judge Ann Donnelly even went so far as to grant an emergency stay January 28 in Brooklyn, New York to prevent refugee deportation.

No one expressed anger when Obama banned Cuban refugees earlier this month at all U.S. points of entry. Human rights activists expressed concern about possible retaliation by the Communist government against these Cubans who were sent back by Obama. Yet no judge, bishop, pundit or civil group voiced concern on their behalf.

In his 1995 State of the Union address, President Bill Clinton rightly reasoned, "We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. It is ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years and we must do more to stop it."

When Clinton spoke on tightening up immigration, he received a standing ovation. Trump speaks and acts in similar terms and is opposed on all sides.

Watch the panel discuss immigration reform in The Download—Building a Wall.


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