On President Trump’s executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”, or as the mainstream media has labeled the presidential action, the “Muslim travel ban”:
• It is not a Muslim travel ban. It bars entry from Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan. Although they are majority Muslim countries, an actual attempt to ban Islam would include countries such as Indonesia, which is the largest Muslim country in the world by population of Muslims.
• These countries were chosen because DHS (during the Obama administration) designated these countries as hotbeds of recruitment and training of foreign fighters, which led to their removal from the Visa Waiver Program.
• This ban is temporary (90 days). Its stated goal is to relieve the investigative burdens on agencies screening foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals.
In addition to the travel ban, the executive order establishes:
• The suspension of the Syrian refugee program. The refugee program only had 36% support from the American people, and has been cited as an entry vector for radical Islamic foreign fighters. DHS can still admit people on a case-by-case basis, “but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States”.
• Expediting completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System, intended to track the biometrics of immigrants and visitors admitted to the country. Keeping a database of biometrics for those entering the United States on a travel visa is paramount in ensuring that crimes committed by foreigners in the country are able to be tracked back to the foreigner that committed them.
• A review of the existing reciprocity agreements for non-immigrant visa programs, and adjusting validity periods and fees in obtaining a United States visa to match what the other country currently sets for United States citizens traveling there.
Most importantly, the executive order has a section on establishing transparency with regards to national security. The United States will collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:
• Information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United states who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States.
• Those convicted of terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons.
• The number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry, and engaged in terrorism related acts.
• The types and number of acts of gender-based violence committed by foreign nationals against women, including honor killings.
• A report on the long-term costs at the federal, state, and local levels for the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).
• Any other information relevant to public safety as determined by DHS and the Attorney General, including the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.
Why I know what I’m talking about:
• I worked for multiple intelligence agencies, including the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and have intimate knowledge of the vetting processes of terrorists within the United States.
• I actually read the Executive Order (link with full text), which is more than any other news organization can say.