Saturday, January 28, 2017

Trump's Syrian Ban: the Politics of Fear Originated in the Republican Mainstream

Two facts (they're important, right?) on Trump's ban on Syrians entering the US.
1. Syrian refugees have been the most heavily vetted group of individuals to ever enter America, with vetting procedures by four separate US Federal agencies, plus the UN refugee agency. The process takes 18 months to two years.
2. The drive to ban Syrians originated in 2015 among a group of right-wing Republican state governors who announced that they would ban Syrians from living in their states. Donald Trump clearly wants to win political support with these individuals - several of whom were early contenders against Trump for the Republican Party Presidential nomination.
Taking this action (banning Syrians) should be seen therefore as a political step taken by Trump aimed at strengthening his political support among a Republican Party which all but disowned him during the election. The ban bears no relation to any objective risk or any security issue.
Shame on these governors for originally stoking this populist fear, which the President has capitalised on, at the expense of some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.

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