Donald Trump is taking a lot of heat for his executive order on immigration, and Hillary Clinton has decided to join the chorus.
The worst presidential candidate in American history put out a statement criticizing the order. Per Newsmax:
I stand with the people gathered across the country tonight defending our values & our Constitution. This is not who we are.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 29, 2017
Is Hillary right? Is this a departure from our norms?
No. As David French notes, Trump’s order has its issues, but it’s not that far off from how we’ve handled things in the past:
Let’s analyze the key provisions, separate the fact from the hysteria, and introduce just a bit of historical perspective. First, the order temporarily halts refugee admissions for 120 days to improve the vetting process, then caps refugee admissions at 50,000 per year. Outrageous, right? Not so fast. Before 2016, when Obama dramatically ramped up refugee admissions, Trump’s 50,000 stands roughly in between a typical year of refugee admissions in George W. Bush’s two terms and a typical year in Obama’s two terms.
In 2002, the United States admitted only 27,131 refugees. It admitted fewer than 50,000 in 2003, 2006, and 2007. As for President Obama, he was slightly more generous than President Bush, but his refugee cap from 2013 to 2015 was a mere 70,000, and in 2011 and 2012 he admitted barely more than 50,000 refugees himself. The bottom line is that Trump is improving security screening and intends to admit refugees at close to the average rate of the 15 years before Obama’s dramatic expansion in 2016. Obama’s expansion was a departure from recent norms, not Trump’s contraction.
Hysteria aside, a temporary ban on refugees from predominantly Muslim countries also isn’t unprecedented. In fact, Barack Obama, who appointed Hillary Clinton Secretary of State, instituted a similar ban. As the Federalist noted:
Although the Obama administration currently refuses to temporarily pause its Syrian refugee resettlement program in the United States, the State Department in 2011 stopped processing Iraq refugee requests for six months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered evidence that several dozen terrorists from Iraq had infiltrated the United States via the refugee program.
After two terrorists were discovered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 2009, the FBI began reviewing reams of evidence taken from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that had been used against American troops in Iraq. Federal investigators then tried to match fingerprints from those bombs to the fingerprints of individuals who had recently entered the United States as refugees…
…The terrorists were not taken into custody until 2011. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. State Department stopped processing refugee requests from Iraqis for six months in order to review and revamp security screening procedures.
So not only have we done this before, but we did it when Hillary Clinton was running things at the State Department. Maybe she forgot?
Another thing she might have forgot: Kicking off her second presidential campaign in front of a giant statue of FDR, the man who interned thousands of innocent Japanese Americans during World War II.
Hillary Clinton, hypocritical as ever.