Donald Trump stepped back a little the other day. He said he would “suspend immigration from areas of the world. When there is a proven history of terrorism.”
In other words, he would not just ban Muslims. He would ban all people from certain countries with large Muslim populations. There would be no religious test.
Experts say there are ways to do that. But it would not be easy.
An American president has a lot of power over immigration. Banning whole populations would be a far broader use of this power. Still, Trump could make the case in this country. The U.S. is nervous about terrorism. Congress could make it hard to carry out such a ban. It could refuse to approve the money needed to carry out the order.
There are many rules the president would have to follow before such an order could go into effect.
Most of all, the problem is political. How would another country react to a ban on its citizens? They, in turn, could ban U.S. citizens. What would the exceptions to the ban be? Would foreign tourists, business people, athletes and performers be exempt?
An expert said of the ban, “It could include everyone from the King of Saudi Arabia to a college student.”
Trump knows that the shooting in Orlando unsettled Americans. He is playing to that fear. He ignores that the killer in Orlando was an American-born citizen.
The ban would likely be on people from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria.
How long would the ban last? It might last a long time. No one thinks the threat of terrorism will be over soon.
Source: The New York Times June 18, 2016