In response to Zeldin’s non-response, the following letter was sent, with 30+ signatories
Dear Rep. Zeldin:
Bruce A. Colbath
5 LongWoods Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937
Dear Representative Zeldin:
I appreciate your responses to my emails concerning Mr. Trump’s Executive Order (EO) concerning the ban on entry into the United States from individuals seeking entry from seven specific countries. Unfortunately, I am dismayed by the many mischaracterizations contained in your responses. Briefly:
First. The very premise of the EO,“Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry…,” and your characterization of its purpose as ensuring that “the American people know with confidence that any individual being granted admission does not pose a threat to our security,” does not withstand even the most cursory scrutiny.
In a study performed by an immigration expert at the Cato Institute (https://www.theatlantic.com/archive/2017/01/trump-immigration-ban-terrorism/514361), the total number of Americans killed from 1975-2015 by terrorists from the seven countries covered by Mr. Trump’s ban is – zero. In stark contrast, terrorists from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Lebanon alone were responsible for the deaths of more than 3,000 Americans. Yet, incomprehensibly, these countries are not among those from which entry is banned. Real danger emanated from these countries, yet they are ignored. So much for “prioritiz[ing] America’s security risk.”
Second. President Obama did not enact a similar policy in his first term, in contrast to your statement. Soon after the December 2015 terror attack in San Bernadino, President Obama amended the Visa Waiver Program (a law that allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the United States without obtaining visas) to remove dual nationals who were citizens of four countries (Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Syria) or anyone who had recently traveled to those countries. The Obama administration added three more to the list (Libya, Somalia, and Yemen) the seven countries targeted by the Trump ban. However, President Obama’s directives did not bar anyone from coming to the United States — it only required people from those seven countries to first obtain a visa.
Third. Contrary to your statement, green card holders have been impacted by Mr. Trump’s ban. There have been numerous reports concerning the detention of individuals who obtained permanent resident status. Even more perniciously, there are reports that administration officials deceptively coerced permanent residents to execute forms pursuant to which the targeted people surrendered this status.
Lastly. I fail to see the rationale for granting immigration priority to those of Christian or Jewish faith. Apart from the unconstitutionality of such an approach, nothing guarantees that adherence to these religious beliefs immunizes a believer from terrorism.
In short, Mr. Trump’s EO – whether temporary or not — is a cardinal sin as committed by a Constitutional representative: He has allowed the end to justify an improper means, and by doing so has isolated the US from much of the rest of the world, which puts our nation and our Armed Forces at much greater risk. You should have known better than to support such a travesty.
Cc: Mark Woolley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
P.S. Joining me in this are the following CD1 constituents:
Bette & Larry Smith
Max & Tina Plesset
Jose B. D’Santos
Sue & David Avedon
Vicki Luria Blatt
Paul & Susan McGraw Keber
Mary E. Gottemoeller
In addition, this is worth reading to understand the non-partisan nature of this threat. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2017/01/30/why-trumps-policies-will-increase-terrorism-and-why-trump-might-benefit-as-a-result/?utm_campaign=Brookings+Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=41723566