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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Conflating national security with immigration, illegal immigration and visitor visas, council resolution on temporary travel ban proposed

Councilman at-large Ravi Bhalla proposes a ceremonial resolution condemning the Presidential Executive Order temporarily banning visas from seven troubled nation states

Councilman Ravi Bhalla submitted the following resolution as seen below for the Hoboken City Council meeting this evening. The resolution addresses the presidential executive order in place excluding visas from seven counties where the central governments are inert, suspect or complicit in working with jihadist groups.

Councilman Bhalla, who has relatives in Iran has declared the 90 day travel ban moratorium discriminatory, immoral and compares the EO to the Holocaust. The complete resolution follows:

RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HOBOKEN EXPRESSING ITS STRONG DISAGREEMENT WITH A FEDERAL EXECUTIVE ORDER ON BORDER SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT IMPROVEMENTS, URGING NEW JERSEY’S ATTORNEY GENERAL TO JOIN IN OPPOSITION TO THE ORDER, AND EXPRESSING SOLIDARITY WITH REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS TO THE UNITED STATES

WHEREAS, the United States of America is a country founded by immigrants and refugees;

WHEREAS, immigrants have always been a source of our Nation’s strength;

WHEREAS, as Americans we are rightfully proud of our great diversity, as it is among our
country’s greatest assets;

WHEREAS, the United States of America is unique on earth for being a place that is united by a set of ideas, among them the notion that, no matter who you are or where you are from, we are equals under the law;

WHEREAS, the City of Hoboken is a city founded by immigrants and one that was built by immigrants;

WHEREAS, to this day, immigrants continue to live and work in Hoboken and contribute to the fabric of our community;

WHEREAS, sadly, there have been exceptions where our country has not lived up to the values of welcoming refugees and immigrants, and we must learn from such lessons taught to us by history;

WHEREAS, in 1929, over 900 Jewish refugees arrived by ship to the coast of Florida on the St. Louis, fleeing persecution from Nazi Germany, and the United States denied permission to these Jewish refugees to find safe harbor in the United States, who were returned to Europe, resulting in hundreds of them being victims of the Holocaust genocide;

WHEREAS, we must learn from the lesson of history, lest they repeat themselves at the cost of the life and liberty of innocent human beings;

WHEREAS, on January 25, 2017, the federal government issued an Executive Order on “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”;

WHEREAS, the Executive Order bars Syrian refugees from entering the United States indefinitely, bars any refugees from entering the United States for a period of 120 days, and prevents individuals from seven Muslim majority countries, refugees or otherwise, from entering the United States for a period of 90 days. These seven countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen;

WHEREAS, it is the position of the City Council of the City of Hoboken that the Executive Order constitutes an assault on America’s values and our longstanding tradition of welcoming refugees and immigrants;

WHEREAS, the Executive Order has a direct harmful impact on countless innocent women, children, men, and families around the world, causing tremendous emotional pain and suffering upon innumerable families, including refugees from Syria and other parts of the world fleeing from severe forms of oppression, and even Hoboken residents simply seeking unification with their family members from countries subject the Executive Order;

WHEREAS, 16 Attorneys General, the top legal enforcement officers for the states of New York, California, Pennsylvania, Washington, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Virginia, Vermont, Illinois, New Mexico, Iowa, Maine and Maryland have affirmatively declared that the Executive Order is unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful,” and have pledged to “work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith”;

WHEREAS, as of the date of this Resolution, 4 separate federal judges around the country have ordered stays on parts of the Executive Order, finding there is a likelihood of success on the merits of claims that the Executive Order violates fundamental due process, equal protection and protections against discrimination on the basis of religion or national origin;

WHEREAS, the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, Christopher Porrino, has not yet joined his colleagues in the 16 states referenced above in expressing concerns about the substance of the Executive Order;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Hoboken condemns in the strongest terms the Executive Order because its substance runs counter to America’s longstanding tradition of welcoming refugees and immigrants from around the world;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Hoboken expresses its support and solidarity with all those Syrian and other refugees impacted by the Executive Order, and others being separated from their families for no reason other than the coincidence of being from a country subject to the Executive Order;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Hoboken respectfully urges Attorney General Porrino to join his 16 colleagues referenced above in opposition to the Executive Order, so that the State of New Jersey may stand on the right side of history when this order is ultimately struck down by the courts.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a City Clerk of the City of Hoboken shall deliver a certified copy of this Resolution via electronic mail to Attorney General Porrino within 12 hours of its passage and via hand delivery within 24 hours of its passage.

Selective protest? When almost 100 Cuban refugees were forced back to that Communist gulag island in one of the last cynical acts taken by President Obama mere days before the inauguration last month, not a single cry or protest was  heard from the in the tank media or protestors. 

Talking Ed Note: MSV disagrees with much of the hysteria and conflation of national security and the right of sovereign nations to manage a legal immigration process with travel visas which fall under the Constitutional authority of the President.

Numerous US Presidents have wielded this authority, often repeatedly in seeking to address national security concerns. All recent presidents including President Trump have made efforts to accept refugees in similar numbers. Religious persecution is a factor in the process, more now than in the recent past.

When Barack Obama was President, he ordered a six month travel ban on Iraq in 2011. This even with many Iraqis who risked their lives and the lives of their families in the war.  Prior to him, President Bush wielded similar executive authority and so did President Jimmy Carter who slapped a travel ban on Iran when it raided and took over the US Embassy in Tehran taking more than 60 embassy staff hostage. In addition, Carter ejected Iranian nationals, among them foreign students. Other US presidents have taken similar action as is their Constitutional authority under US law.

This is an emotional issue and personal for many people. MSV would however note, there was not a single outcry, not from the media and not from the public with any protest after close to 100 Cuban refugees who escaped that island gulag were stopped from entering the United States last month. Similarly, a CNN Town Hall yesterday let slip a woman who asked what American lives should be put at risk as her son was tortured, set on fire and murdered at the hands of an illegal alien.

Who decides which and how many American lives are expendable on US shores

In one of the finals acts of his presidency, Barack Obama signed an Executive Order preventing fleeing Cubans from entry into the US reversing a decades long policy where Cuban refugees risking life and limb to escape the communist controlled island were given shelter and protected status on arrival. Many Cubans have risked their lives and that of their families in attempting an escape. Many have drowned and lost their lives in the shark infested waters between Cuba and Florida making the attempt.

When the Executive Order by President Trump was announced Friday, a similar amount of travelers, roughly 100 of more than 325,000 traveling to the US that day were impacted with heightened screening and vetting. This was met immediately with George Soros backed protests and allegations from numerous groups from the Left and the Lamestream media of an alleged "Muslim Ban."

The national security measures actually pinpoint seven failed or hostile nation states where terrorism is neither controlled if not openly backed. Visas issued from these failed states are certainly suspect and can not be considered properly vetted. Those seven nation states are NOT named in the President Trump Executive Order; they were selected through the efforts of the prior Barack Obama Administration.

MSV, as a first generation American citizen of immigrants strongly opposes this ceremonial resolution castigating a temporary travel ban from these Muslim dominated countries. It does not even constitute 15% of the population of 50 other mostly Islamic nations. The propaganda and misinformation, the gas lighting of Americans has been non-stop since Friday. Iran especially has historically seen numerous religious minorities among its 70 million majority Shia Islamic population. Historically, those religious minorities including people of the Jewish faith were not persecuted. Today, under the authoritarian mullahs, those minorities face imprisonment or worse if they attempt or are seen practicing their faith openly. 

In addition, Christians are among the most persecuted in the Middle East among other religious minorities such as the Yazidis. For the last two years, more Christians worldwide are persecuted for their faith than any other, back to Nero in the times of the Roman Empire. Was there a single media backed protest for any of it? Any sympathy or action led by the US government? On the whole, they like other religious minorities have been relatively ignored.

President Trump plans to accept approximately 50,000 refugees this year in line with previous US norms in most prior years. In addition to exceptions allowed on a case by case basis, an additional review of foreign nationals who aided the US military in the field will see approval for themselves and their families in short order under Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

The actual facts on the temporary travel ban are being widely misreported: intentionally and conflated with legal immigration, illegal immigration and earlier refugees fleeing the Jewish Shoah. This is wrong on so many levels but the utter disregard for the will and national security of the American people is nothing short of outrageous. To equate any refugees in decades past to the national security risk today is either willfully ignorant or blatantly political. None of those refugees posed a terrorist risk to the United States.

Historically, national security has not been politicized but since the shock to many of the uprising of the American people with the election results last November, that too is no longer a bridge too far. Sad times these.