Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Border Protections

The Return of Common Sense

The United States seems to have taken a leaf or two out of NZ's immigration policy.  President Trump has signed an executive order introducing more stringent screening of entry permits.  According to reports in Stuff, the new policy runs as follows:
The draft order instructs the US government to screen visa applicants for their ideologies.  "In order to protect Americans, we must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward our country and its founding principles," or do not support the Constitution, the draft order reads.

The order says the United States should screen visa applicants to block access to those "who would place violent religious edicts over American law" and those who "engage in acts of bigotry or hatred" including "honour" killings, violence against women, and persecution on the basis of religion, race, gender and sexual orientation, a description that human rights groups say also appears to be geared toward Muslims, without naming Islam explicitly.
This reads as if the Administration has taken notice of New Zealand's immigration policy.  Imitation, they reckon, is the best form of flattery.

Needless to say the usual suspects in the US will be screaming blue murder over this reinstatement of a much more controlled immigration and visitor policy.
 The normal meaningless-through-repetition-ad-nauseum epithets will be thrown around--racist, discrimination, violation of human rights, etc.--and a few Hollywood irrelevancies will get their knickers in a twist (as we say Down Under).

As always, the challenges will lie in the implementation of the policy.  This is the sort of thing that bureaucracies and bureaucrats do not do well, and signing a few executive orders does not an efficient administration make.  The US federal bureaucracy is a vast bumbling, stumbling, incoherent and byzantine regime--which is always an unintended by-product of administrative law and government overreach.

Will this new immigration and screening policy be an exception?  The new administration has given itself ninety days to get it sorted out.  We imagine a substantial overhaul will be required.  Expect the lines at US consulates and embassies around the world to grow long and longer.

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