The Washington Post recently ran a guest column titled “President Trump’s Refugee Ban Is Splitting Our Family Apart.” It purports to be a critique of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, from a family that has been negatively affected. Authored by Todd and Tianna Rooney, of Brighton, Michigan, the article is filled with misleading assertions. And it’s the kind of ideological propaganda one would expect to find in a Democratic Party newsletter, not in the paper-of-record for our nation’s capital.
To start with, the title is misleading. The Rooney family isn’t actually being separated at all. The refugee in question isn’t their son. And Mr. and Mrs. Rooney have never met the young man. They admit as much: “In late May, we were thrilled to hear from Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services about the identity of our future son that we had been dreaming about.”
Their “son” is a sixteen-year-old Eritrean refugee they refer to as “K,” who is allegedly residing in an Egyptian refugee camp. And, according to the Rooneys, their dear “K” is a harmless victim. They just don’t understand why anyone would fear refugees or want to delay his admission to the United States. While the Rooney’s should be commended for their willingness to open their home to a child in need, they seem remarkably unable to comprehend the need to balance America’s humanitarian obligations against the safety and security of the American public.
In fact, in their eyes, the so-called “Trump travel ban” isn’t about national security. It’s about demonizing refugees. They state, “Over and over, Trump has attempted to convince U.S. citizens that refugees should be feared — however, as is typical of our president, there is simply no data to support this.” The clear implication is that President Trump is just a big, mean racist, who picks on refugee kids.
That doesn’t jive with reality. Young men, ostensibly fleeing persecution, have consistently been let into the United States, without sufficient vetting, because of foolish politically correct arguments like those advanced by the Rooney family. And they have consistently threatened the safety of everyday Americans: Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, and the list goes on.
The president’s temporary moratorium on refugee admissions, and travel from countries with poor vetting, was the first realistic effort to find a durable solution to the security problems that have plagued American immigration programs in the post-9/11 world. It was a legitimate exercise of statutory authority, and it should never have been blocked by any reviewing court.
Yes, the so-called “ban” may inconvenience the Rooneys and “K.” But those inconveniences must be balanced against the safety of millions of everyday Americans who want to attend college or watch a sporting event without fear of being run over or blown up by people who should never have been in the U.S. in the first place. Do the Rooneys really want “K” to live in a U.S.A. where he’s not any safer than he was at home?