Sunday, January 29, 2017

Judge Stays Trump Refugee Ban

good, right?
   Perhaps a case for some kind of similar action can be justified if, say, intelligence agencies have information indicating that terrorists are likely to try to get into the U.S. from certain countries, that the current screening process or some achievable upgrade of it is inadequate to be likely to catch them, or whatever.
   But, again, I think Trump's got to bear a heavy burden of proof in this case. And, of course, he hasn't done so.
   This isn't Europe. Europe faces a massive, largely-unregulated wave of immigration. That's a problem. We're talking about a relatively few carefully-screened refugees.
   As for the preference for Christian refugees with respect to Syria: this only seems justified if it follows from general principles applicable to everyone, e.g. if Syrian Christians face unusual levels of oppression and violence, and if that generally triggers some sort of preference with respect to refugee status. As for whether or not this is a "Muslim ban": if, say, the seven countries in question are the ones identified by the intelligence community as most dangerous in the relevant ways, then not necessarily. If the group was gerrymandered and the guiding idea was to ban Muslims without admitting it, then yeah, of course. And that can't be defended. As for whether we can treat a specific religion differently than others, e.g. because its members are more violence-prone: I'm not sure. I'm inclined to say: the screening process is the screening process. If more members of religion A fail than members of religion B, then so be it. But on the face of it I don't see that it would be permissible to have two different screening processes. OTOH, I can see someone arguing: if we know that members of group X are likely to be a problem and members of group Y are not, and if the more effective screening process is very arduous or expensive, then it's foolish to apply it to both groups. So I suppose I don't know.

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