Editorials

Editorial: Twitter barrage reveals Trump’s true intent

“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN,” Trump tweeted Monday.
“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN,” Trump tweeted Monday. Washington Post illustration

Take President Donald Trump at his word, repeated in all caps during the early morning hours on Twitter. He wants a “TRAVEL BAN.”

Despite his handlers’ best efforts to rein him in and to bat back suggestions that his immigration executive order is actually a ban, Trump has been clear about how he views Muslims and terrorism.

The president seems to believe that the two are inextricably linked, despite all evidence to the contrary. He has made clear he wants to stop Muslims from entering the United States.

The proof is in his campaign promises and in his own unfiltered tweets, which followed the deadly knife and van attack in London. “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” Trump tweeted Monday.

The president was referring to his March executive order, currently blocked by the courts. The order sought to temporarily ban travelers arriving to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

If nothing else, Trump has been consistent in his misguided view. He has never really deviated. Trump thinks that stopping Muslims from entering the U.S. will ensure the nation’s security.

Never mind that doing so would play into the hands of terrorists, people who are more than willing to twist the Islamic faith for their own murderous deeds.

Terrorism is the problem. Not Islam.

At its best, anti-terrorism intelligence puts a laser focus on those intending to cause harm. It does not ensnare entire groups in a dragnet, punishing all in a desperate attempt to find the threat.

The March executive order was a retooled version of Trump’s first attempt at a ban, which was struck down by the courts and roundly criticized for its overreach.

Late last week, the administration filed more motions, pressing to expedite the case.

Trump sought to suspend travel from those six countries for 90 days to allow time to improve vetting procedures. Barely more than a week in that three-month window remains, raising the question: Why is a ban needed now?

The courts have previously cited Trump’s overheated rhetoric in striking down his first executive order. Now he’s providing fresh evidence of his intent to discriminate.

Migration experts have long asserted that the U.S. has been more successful in assimilating newcomers than most nations. That is our strength, the very hallmark of what it means to be a country of immigrants.

Trump, though, appears determined to do battle against Islam, undercutting our core beliefs and leaving us less safe.

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