By Katie Jan 30, 2017
Image: President Barack Obama his desk in the Oval Office, White House, Pete Sousa, Public Domain
According to the mainstream media, President Trump has signed an executive order banning “nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days.” Those seven countries include: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
Understandably, the order has outraged a lot of people. Even worse, Trump signed it on Holocaust Memorial Day.
However, what the media is reporting isn’t quite true. While the order does suspend the “Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern,” the seven “Muslim-majority” countries in question were not singled out by Trump. They were singled out by Obama.
Seth J. Frantzman explains:
The Department of Homeland Security targeted these seven countries over the last years as countries of concern. In February 2016 “The Department of Homeland Security today announced that it is continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 with the addition of Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as three countries of concern, limiting Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals who have traveled to these countries.” It noted “the three additional countries designated today join Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria as countries subject to restrictions for Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals.” It was the US policy under Obama to restrict and target people “who have been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).” This was text of the US Customs and Border Protection in 2015 relating to “the Visa Waiver Program and Terrorist Travel Protection Act of 2015“. The link even includes the seven nation list in it: “Iraq, Syria, Iran, SUdan, Somalia or Yemen.” And the media knew this back in May 2016 when some civil rights groups complained about it. “These restrictions have provoked an outcry from the Iranian-American community, as well as Arab-American and civil-liberties groups, who say the restrictions on dual nationals and certain travelers are discriminatory and could be imposed against American dual nationals.”
It was signed into law on December 18, 2015, as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of FY2016.In other words, there was a kind of “Muslim ban” before Trump. But the media didn’t critique it because it was Obama’s administration that implemented it.
As Frantzman writes, Trump’s order “only increases an existing discriminatory policy, it doesn’t invent it. Reading media reports you would never know that.”
If you want to know the truth about Trump’s policies, you’ll have to search for it yourself. Because the media isn’t reporting it.