Many on Twitter are celebrating the Supreme Court upholding of the ‘travel ban’ as a victory. I guess my definition of victory means victory, as in the possibility of winning, not just a token setback for the opposing side. Here are the problems:
1. Does nothing against inflows of legal and illegal immigration.
2. Won’t stop terrorism. The worst kind of terrorism (the type of terrorism against Western targets) is committed by wealthy Sunni state-sponsored terrorists, as well as by upper and middle-class first and second generation Sunni Muslim immigrants residing in Western countries. This ban targets poor Shia Muslim countries. Why is Trump leaving the Sunni states alone even though they pose a much bigger threat? Maybe because he has financial interests in wealthy Sunni countries such as Pakistan, Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia (all exempt from the ban). Understandably, Trump wants to expand trade and improve foreign relations, but a ban that excludes the biggest and worst offenders of state-sponsored Islamic terrorism, is useless. The irony is that the wealthier states are the most dangerous in terms of terrorism, even though terrorism is wrongly equated with poverty. The wealthy states fund the terrorists.
For example, here are some recent successful and failed domestic terrorism incidents, all involving perpetrators from countries excluded from the ban:
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Boston bombers): sons of Chechen immigrants
911 hijackers: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, United Arab Emirates
Omar Mateen (Pulse Nightclub shooter): son of Afghani immigrants
Rizwan Farook (San Bernardino attack): son Pakistani immigrants
Tashfeen Malik (San Bernardino attack): born in Pakistan
Richard Reid (“shoe bomber”) born in Britain but became ‘radicalized’ in Pakistan and Afghanistan
Faisal Shahzad (Times Square terrorism plot); Pakistani-American citizen
In many instances, the perpetrators are second generation immigrants.
3. A bureaucratic and legal nightmare processing all the exemptions to the ban. This is a huge victory for immigration lawyers…that’s for sure.
At best this ban is a symbolic gesture that will drum up support for the administration, but won’t do much.