Obama Wasn't Right, But You Are Super Wrong, Part 2: The Visa Program
We touched on the Muslim Ban at the top, but we are rolling our sleeves up and digging in now - because it has been painful to listen to the falsehoods being floated lazily repeated by the pundits, by Congress, and by the Trump administration. We're talking about the claim that what Trump is doing is reasonable because it was actually Obama who designated those seven countries as "countries of concern." Yes, it is true that the Obama administration signed into law a bill that was written by Congress that specified four countries as concerning, and then the Obama Department of Homeland Security added three more countries to the list all by themselves. BUT. A big but. This had nothing to do with the United States' ability to vet and screen immigrants, visa applications, or refugees from any of those countries - which is what Trump's Muslim Ban is claiming is insecure and warrants a shut down. The Obama policy was about the agreements we have with countries who participate in our Visa Waiver Program, under which the U.S. does not screen/vet/interview or require visas for citizens of participating countries. You can read the list of countries here - the program is meant to help foster easier travel and greater economic cooperation. But it isn't a crazy thought (though we ardently opposed the bill because it is discriminatory) by the Obama administration and Congress to say, hey, we should actually be screening these travelers too if they are dual citizens of "countries of concern" or if they frequently travel there. The Obama policy simply (but objectionably) said we should be screening these folks - NOT that we cannot sufficiently screen these seven countries or that anyone should be banned. Obama’s policy was bad - but Trump's policy is way, way, way worse (and we believe unconstitutional). Trump's team has been allowed to tell this lie too long. Hopefully that stops here.