In our podcast Emil Amok’s Takeout, I list off the key points about Travel Ban
Six out of the seven original countries are involved: Iran, Libya, Somalia,
Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Only extensive lobbying got Iraq taken off.
There are also exceptions made for green card and visa holders, as well as those
who travel for work, or young people who need medical care. (It specifies
children, not older persons.)
The new executive order also suspends the refugee program for 120 days, limits
the number of refugees in 2017 to 50,000, and does not single out Syrians.
All good? Not exactly.
No matter how you slice it, the travel ban is still a Muslim ban, which raises
One aspect of the ban I’ve found rarely reported is in Section 11.
“Transparency and Data Collection” sounds benign.
But not when its intent is to provide the country with what essentially is a
national scoreboard on terrorism.
It’s going to be the unofficial official Muslim Report Card.
According to the executive order itself, information will be gathered on the
number of foreign nationals in the U.S. charged or convicted of terrorism; or
removed based on terrorism-related activity.
These aren’t travelers, mind you.
They are people in our communities the government wants tracked.
“Information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who
have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in
terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to
terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United
There are even specific crimes the government is interested in, such as “the
number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including
so-called ‘honor killings,’ in the United States by foreign nationals.”
And then there’s the catch-all. The government wants “any other information
relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of
Homeland Security or the Attorney General.”
Oh, that would be Jeff Sessions.
He’ll have so much time on his hands since he’s recused himself on any Trump
And all this is in something called a travel ban?
Sounds like they’re gearing up for a Muslim Ban 3.0 that will last longer than
90 days (120 days for refugees).
If they have data, and everyone loves data these days, you can justify banning
just about anyone in Trump’s America for as long as Steve Bannon wants. Forever?
On the podcast, I talk to Deepa Iyer, South Asian
American community leader and recent recipient of the AALDEF Justice in Action
She says the immigrant community is “already living in fear,” and denounces the
ban that fans Trump’s xenophobic bent.
We also talk about the killing of an Indian American engineer in Olathe, how
Trump handled it, and how it is connected to the political rhetoric of our
She says that because of it, the Indian community in America is “becoming woke.”
Listen to the podcast here. Or on the player below.