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The Errant Judicial Decision on Trump’s Travel Ban

Recently, President Donald Trump imposed a ban on the entry into the United States of people from the countries Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen. The reason is to minimize the import of potential terrorists. Seattle Judge Robart ruled the ban illegal and prohibited it throughout the nation. Robart recognized that the terrorism on 11 September 2001 was from people of countries other than the above, so he concluded that the US was not likely to be harmed by visitors from these seven countries. This argument can be defeated with some math.

15 of the 911 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia in 2000 and 2001. They killed 3000 people on September 11. If Saudis came into the US at the rate of 4000 per year, then in the two years in which the hijackers came, the chance of a Saudi visitor being a hijacker was 15/8000=0.001875 . The expected value of the number of people whom that visitor would kill is 3000*0.001875=5.6 . To phrase it another way, on average, for every Saudi denied entry into the US, 5.6 American lives would have been saved. This is an argument to include Saudi Arabia in the list of banned countries. If the other seven countries were banned first, Trump must have concluded that they were a greater risk than Saudi Arabia.

As commander-in-chief, Trump has the right to decide which countries are the greatest threat. One can easily argue that all of the seven banned countries have dubious records. For example, Sudan is probably the most benign country on the list. It also has tens of thousands of slaves. Must we wait until a country kills 3000 of us before we protect ourselves from it?

Trump has the legal right to impose this travel ban. The 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act allows the president to impose such bans. Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama used that law. The courts should eventually allow the ban. If they do not, they are putting political correctness before the law.

A final thought: Where was Judge Robart when President Obama was giving his many illegal executive orders?

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

Martin Marcus

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