Trump’s ban ‘does little’

Published 2:03 pm Thursday, February 16, 2017

Do you feel safer now that President Donald Trump has put in a probably illegal travel ban on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries on the pretext of keeping terrorists from coming into the country as refugees?

If yes, then you fall under the same delusion as Trump. 

Reality shows the ban does little to deter potential terrorists and instead endangers Americans.

There are several reasons for this. One is that according to a study dated Sept. 13, 2016 from the CATO Institute, “Terrorism and Immigration: A Risk Analysis,” no person accepted to the United States as a refugee, Syrian or otherwise, has been implicated in a major fatal terrorist attack since the Refugee Act of 1980 set up systematic procedures for accepting refugees into the United States.

This gives lie to Trump’s statement of “extreme vetting” being necessary. The current system seems to be working quite fine. If you want an idea of the hoops refugees must go through, then go to YouTube and watch a video of John Oliver from “Last Week Tonight” explaining the vetting process.

Another reason is the countries that the ban is on. 

“It’s certainly the case that none of the major deadly attacks carried out in the United States were carried out by people from these countries,” said Erin Miller, who manages the Global Terrorism Database for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. 

So why didn’t Trump extend to more countries like Saudi Arabia or Egypt? It appears the ban excludes countries Trump has financial holdings in. In other words, he didn’t want to reduce his net worth to defend the U.S. 

Can you say conflict of interest?

Finally, the Trump Administration has just demonstrated that it’s going be much more incompetent than anything in George W. Bush’s administration. 

Trump intended to sign the executive order but kept the whole thing secret from the departments who are tasked with enforcing the ban: Homeland Security and the State Department. They didn’t hear about the order until after it was signed.

The result was chaos with people being stranded in airports. All Trump has done is to anger our Muslim friends and allies as well as giving ISIS a new recruiting tool.

So, what is the risk of being killed by a foreign terrorist? Per the CATO Institute study, since 1975, the odds are 1 in 3.6 million.

For comparison, the risk of being murdered by a gun is 1 in 25,000 and being killed by an accidental discharge is 1 in 514,000. 

Seems to me people are afraid of the wrong thing.

James Peca is a retired federal government analyst living in Farmville. His email address is