In Response To The "Travel Ban"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


We purchased our Visas for Cuba yesterday and ordered guidebooks from Amazon last night. We leave a week from Thursday and my intention was to write about how excited we are for this trip.

But talking about our plans to jet around and frivolously see new places feels extremely privileged and weird right now.

I keep wondering what entitles me to do this while others have been locked up in airports? Some just 12 miles away from me. What have they done that I haven't? And the only thing that I can come up with is that I was born into the "right country" and they weren't.

I told myself 100 times to keep things light around here this week. I've stared at my computer screen for 24 hours now trying to write about Harlow, or Valentines Day crap, spring fashion, ANYTHING but another political post. But it's heavy on my mind and heart so here we are, writing about anything else feels so fake and fluffy to me at this moment I just can't do it. It's weighing on me and once again I have some questions...

In the last couple of posts I've written this month several of you have proved to answer my questions, and most very politely I'd like to add, which I really appreciate. I read each and every comment and think about it and research it and genuinely enjoy when those of you take the time to explain a view I don't understand, or necessarily agree with all of the time. Caring about politics like I do now is new to me, so I'm well aware that I have a lot to learn.

I'm also aware that because I live in Chicago so much of what I read and see is favored heavily to the left. Luckily for me, Chris leans to the right. So our nightly discussions are somewhere in the middle and we're both level headed people and are able to talk about this stuff and try to make sense of what the hell is going on in our world right now.

Again, if you could hear the sighs that happen as I settle into these posts you would understand that I don't walk into them lightly, or without heavy consideration. I wish I could go back to the days where I didn't care and could easily talk about any other topic and not think twice, but unfortunately that's not where I am anymore.

So here we go... let's pretend we're friends having coffee at a cool hipster joint where it just wouldn't be cool to raise our voices at each other, and also because we're friends.

That being said, I find it absolutely heartbreaking to see what our country is doing right now. I can hardly read the stories or watch the videos of people being torn away from their loved ones, or not being allowed back into a country they've called home for so many years.

Or to read about the families not being allowed in when they've waited so many years for their chance to finally start their lives outside of a refugee camp. We can't even begin to comprehend what that letdown must feel like.

To the Republicans reading, Trump is simply doing exactly what he said he would so I get that for several of you this is what you wanted, and what you support. I don't agree, but I can see your perspective.

Anytime I see someone oppose this ban the immediate response from the right (on my Facebook anyway) is, "Don't you want to protect our Country?"

I most definitely do. But I don't understand how this is helping? So when I don't understand something I often look to the Republicans I admire in hopes they'll have a better answer for me. Which usually happens to be McCain (because yes, I like and voted for McCain) and he said this,

"We fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism," McCain and Graham said in a joint statement, adding that Trump's executive order "may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security."

Have there been refugee terrorist attacks in our country that I have missed? I'm seriously asking, any news source I turn to says no, but if you have different facts please tell me.

As Chris often points out to me the terrorist attacks that are happening more frequently in European countries are often traced back to refugees. But from what I understand, those refugees aren't entering the European countries under the same vetting system the United States has; a system that can take up to two years before finally allowing someone in.

The other people I turn to are those who are serving, or who have served for our country. I have the utmost respect for the military and tend to regard their opinions on a different level than others. Once again, the views I've been reading are split. And so I'm back to square one.

And yes, I'm aware that Trump ties this ban back to Obama. But from what I've gathered, Obama's ban was for one specific country (Iran) and had more to do with the vetting procedure as a whole. Further, it was in response to a specific terror threat and the review was sent through several committees, including Homeland Security and the Justice Department, before it actually took effect. (Whereas Trump's obviously wasn't.) If you know otherwise, please tell me. (For real, I don't like to spout facts that aren't true.) The info above was found at foreignpolicy.com

In all honestly though, when I see my Republican friends post things in favor of the ban I can scroll on by and understand we both get to have an opinion on this.

Unless.

Unless it's those friends of mine who like to remind me every Sunday they're at church by posting their bible quotes and praising how much they love Jesus and want to help others and do right by God.

And then on Monday they're posting the "keep them out of our Country" updates.

Those are the ones I struggle to understand. I'm a Christian, but I rarely go to church so maybe things have changed, but from what I recall turning your back on those who need help and comfort and safety wasn't exactly Jesus's way. In fact, it seems to be the exact opposite. Perhaps we should all throw it back to middle school and start wearing our WWJD bracelets again? Would that be a better reminder?

And I know I could be wrong here since I honestly stray further from religion all the time. NOT GOD, mom. I just said religion.

(But then again... as soon as I say that I'm reminded how much I love our current Pope and the work he is doing.)

And I also know there are several Christians and churches who have opened their doors to immigrants and refugees. My friend Laura shared this blog post (from another friend) that I thought was worth a read.

"Refugees are not a Republican issue, and not a Democratic issue, but a human issue."

She mentions that Jesus himself was a refugee. Is that really true? I'm not sure as there are mixed reports, so believe what you want (as we all do anyway.)

I know I sound pretty pissy right now in regards to my thoughts on Christians on this matter and I've tried to word it otherwise, but I think I have to be honest with myself and admit there isn't another way because I am pissy. So much of what I'm witnessing right now seems to go against everything I was taught about Jesus and how he welcomed "all His children."  So it makes no sense to me.

And yes, I know that a few Christians don't speak for the entire religion, just like I know that Muslim extremists don't speak for that religion as a whole, either.

And now I'm two hours past the time I've allowed myself to write this and so I will wrap it up. If you've stayed this long, God bless. Can you tell I'm confused and have a lot on my mind?

As usual, I'm very aware that I am an idealist and I don't always have the most realistic views on how I think "things should be."

I will never understand why people abuse dogs. Or children. Or each other.

I will also never understand what life is like as a refugee. What it must feel like to leave behind your home and possessions and basically everything you've ever known. To see your loved ones killed and tortured. To think your best option for survival is to cram onto a tiny rubber boat with hoards of other people, and set out into the ocean with your babies under your arms.

To have your one saving grace be the opportunity to get allowed into a country where you know so many people don't want you there. Where everyone is a stranger who speaks a different language, and most of the time you know absolutely nothing about the city you're being relocated to.

And yet you'll go anyway, because it's still far better than where you are now.

I don't know how to make sense of what is going on, if you do, I would appreciate your feedback.

*As usual, please be respectful with your comments as I know there are a lot of emotions going on here. 

56 comments:

  1. "I will never understand why people abuse dogs. Or children. Or each other." This quote.

    And you're so right... what gives us the right to travel to their countries, when they can't travel to ours? I'm from from the US, but I hope everyone who's in a situation there stays safe. :(

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

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  3. I don't think you sounds pissy at all. Your words are the confusion I have felt in my heart for awhile. I try to ask, but people just seem to tear each other apart. Unlike you, I live in a mostly right winged community so the answers I receive are "buy a gun" or "this is what we have to do to save lives"... To me those are not answers. I live 20 minutes from where the San Bernardino terror attacks occurred in December of 2015 and a widow live in my community and she has shared her distaste across Facebook. If a widow of a terrorist attack sees the value in all of human life, shouldn't we all?

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  4. I'm glad you wrote this! It's nice to hear a thoughtful, educated opinion, rather than all the fear-mongering and contention we've been attacked with lately. I'm a more moderate conservative, and a Christian, and at first I was confused about how I felt about the ban. I do want our country to be safe, but I also want all those people to be safe! I love the idea that it's a "human issue". It totally is. I've come to the realization that I can't live my life in fear. Those people's lives matter. I want all of them to be able to come here if they want to. I do believe in God, and I believe God would want all of those people to be granted refuge, to be with their families, to be safe from harm. It's not my place to judge who is bad and who is good. It's my job to be loving toward everyone, and if something bad happens, we'll just have to meet it when it does.

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  5. I had a huge comment, but it got deleted. :((((( Just yes to all of this.

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  6. Thank you Taylor. Thank you for writing down every single thought and feeling I've had on this but haven't had the balls to say (aka, write a post on) myself.

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  7. I sincerely appreciate you writing this post today. While I'm with you in not knowing or understanding everything that is happening, it's encouraging that our generation finally is giving a shit about what happens to us, those around us and our country. Asking questions and seeking answers is without a doubt the most important thing that we can do right now - knowledge is power!

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  8. I agree, wholeheartedly. And I think you had a typo, but Obama's ban (which is totally different from this one) was for Iraq (you typed "Iran").

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  9. I don't think you sound pissy at all. I think you should actually keep sharing your thoughts on politics and what's going on in our country. It's nice to actually read thoughts on the subject that are nice, thoughtful, and questioning. I don't think I can express enough about how tired I am of reading all the negative and argumentative comments on social media.

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  10. * I wasn't going to post this unless I could figure out how to do it anonymously but here we go*

    I appreciate your writing and it being genuine and being open to hear what people with different views of yours are thinking. I voted for Trump (be gentle). I struggled for a long time with my decision, there were reasons for disliking each candidate but my reason I chose Trump was for this reason, I want a safe country.
    Having a discussion one night with my husband where I expressed my concern for the ban he put it this way. If you have a bowl of Starburst and one of those is sour, how are you to tell it apart from the ones that aren't? You can't.
    So, whether we want to accept it or not, there are countries out there who want to kill Americans, was this the right choice? was this the best course of action? I don't know, I do know that the reason behind the ban was not because he hates them or doesn't want to help these people, but because he loves America more.....and isn't that something important we want from our President? To love our country so much he will do what ever it takes to keep it safe?

    If this is too controversial please feel free to delete.

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    1. I'm so glad you did post and really sorry you felt the need to go anon in fear of being attacked :(

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    2. I haven't found a better way to express my support for this situation than your analogy. Some might argue it's a little simplistic ("why are you equating people to candy?") but I admit I teared up a bit. I'm an immigrant whose family moved to the US to be safer, and all I'm seeing is a move that can help make this country even more secure for us. The way you put it moved me.

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    3. To those who'd argue the point I brought up above: Analogies are supposed to simplify a complex issue :). Sorry you felt you'd be attacked. It's been my experience that Taylor's followers not only have many different political beliefs, but are also very respectful.

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    4. Dang. I loved this. Taylor and I don't always see eye to eye but this post hit me in my feels. Hi Taylor! Also you're hilarious and your Snapchat stories should be on prime-time television. Anyways, Angela speaks for a lot of people, myself included. I know some people will say comparing humans to candy is childish but it does make sense in this complex situation. I am sad about what's going on. I'm a Christian and know that Jesus would be saying WTF right now. However; Taylor, I visited Cuba recently...I am so interested to hear your take on their sad sad sad country. Communism has ruined them. Their government is BEYOND oppressive. And Obama banned Cubans coming to the US so more of them are stuck there. It was heartbreaking to walk those streets. Cuba is trying to get bloggers and other highly public personalities to visit so they can talk about what an amazing country it is (they are desperate for good PR) but it's so sad to hear the stories once you get there. The food is amazing. The people are amazing...but my God, the government is disgusting and inhumane. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about it because you're kind of a bleeding heart like me. :) Nothing to be ashamed of! Own it like a badge of honor! Anyways, thanks for this. I love that we don't hate each other on this blog. Other places you are burned at the stake!

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    5. I've heard that analogy a lot lately, that what if just one m&m/starburst/etc in a bowl of hundreds was poison, would you eat from the bowl? The problem is that these are human beings, not inanimate objects and they shouldn't be treated as such :(

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  11. My favorite analogy on this ban is this: Every night I lock my doors, not because I hate my neighbors or the people outside but because I love the people inside more! PS I love your blog and respect your opinion.

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    1. My mom told me this quote literally just 5 minutes ago!

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    2. I've heard this one as well, and my response is: Yes, I lock my doors at night, but if there was an innocent child outside who was running away from an angry gunman, I would open the door and let him in.

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    3. I suggest this a false metaphor. The facts are there. No terrorists have come from the countries subjected to the ban. State Department officials have protested the ban as harmful to national security. So have conservatives, including McCain. All other things aside, this ban is not only ineffective but dangerous. Here is the better metaphor: I invite all of the neighbors to a pot luck. Then, on the day of the party, I lock my doors (and put a bike lock on them as well, just in case). I post a yard sign that says "Houses 1, 2, and 3 no longer welcomed." (Those are the Muslim neighbors). Ok, if you were one of the other neighbors, the ones who still got to come, would you? I wouldn't. If you lived in houses 1, 2, or 3, standing in the yard with your covered casserole dish, what would you do? Maybe throw the casserole at the house? As I said, this ban is not only ineffective but dangerous.

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    4. Agree with RaeAnn, I lock my doors at night, but I would also unlock them if someone was dying outside and needed my help.

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    5. I have also heard this analogy frequently, and I understand the appeal of its simplicity. However, I do not understand how you reconcile factual data that shows white, homegrown terrorist have killed more Americans *and* committed terroristic attacks more frequently than jihadists. Does the analogy still apply? Should we be kicking out all conservative white male citizens because we don't know which one is "sour"?

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  12. I began to have an argument with my dad this morning on this. His timing was bad because I am sitting in my office with people listening.

    He is for the ban; he believes that people (i think it was a few hundred at most) being detained for a few hours just to ensure that they're safe, and to ensure the 343 million people in the US are safe, is worth the small inconvenience. He also believes that there are reasons to worry about the countries that are named; because terrorist training centers are listed there. I couldn't get into it with my dad at the time but I do plan to discuss it later with him.

    He also doesn't understand the purpose of the womens' marches at all. He doesn't understand what rights were lost or what we're so worried about. He understands about the wage disparity, but nothing else "because nothing is being taken away, you are equals!" I need to build my talking points for him. Sorry this is one big long word-mess. I'll let you know how things go.

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  13. I always have a fairly liberal perspective (though like you stated I don't view refugees as a political issue but a human rights issue), but my boyfriend is pretty moderate (in the middle) and I have family members on the far right, far left and everywhere in between. This is one of those issues I have a hard time understanding both sides because...I guess I'm also idealistic and want to believe helping people should be the most important thing. All of that being said I always appreciate your ability to humbly discuss these hot topics while respectfully sharing your opinion and honestly asking questions. I wish more people could approach politics this way.

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  14. I think you are doing a fantastic job of saying how you feel while coming across as very polite while questioning and curious at the same time. So, I see both sides here. I see the empathetic aka "human" side and I see the side of protection. One question that keeps popping into my head is this "would I let them into my house without any questions? Zero questions, just walk right in and make yourself comfortable." I have to say, no I wouldn't, I would want to ask some kind of background questions and find out more about them before giving full access to my home, my life. I think that we should all take a step back, as calmly as we can, and look at the overall reasoning behind the ban. I feel like it's a "let's slow down and evaluate some things" not a this is going to last forever ban. I want to help and protect refugees as well but not at the cost of my own protection and unfortunately, one bad apple can ruin it for everyone and all refugees get "lumped" into the same category b/c of past instances. It's unfortunate, it truly is, but what happens if there's another terrorist instance and we did nothing in the vetting process? Who gets the blame then? The President of course. So, in a lot of ways, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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  15. Thank you for continuing to write these posts and being respectful with it because it's a tough topic. Here's my issue with the ban: those people that were detained all weekend were people who had already been vetted by the US. WHY should they be detained because they left for work or play? WHY was a 5 year old child kept from his family for hours? Using the word "terrorism" is an excuse. Out of the countries in the ban, only ONE had ties to 9/11 (which Trump keeps citing as a reason). There has not been a single terrorist attack on the US from any citizen of these countries aside from the one tied to 9/11. The countries that were tied to 9/11 that were conveniently left off this list include most of the countries that Trump has business ties to. I have no issues with cracking down on our vetting processes if that's what the country wants to feel safe (but it's confusing because of terrorist attacks committed in this country, it's been primarily white males - so should we ban them, too? Sorry that was sassy but I get a little heated with this topic), but the way it's being handled is not right in my opinion.

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  16. Please, please know that there is an ever-growing population of Christians who support the inclusion of all people. As a 20-something Christian, in a young church that has grown 300% in it's first year, I can tell you that there is a movement away from using ancient biblical laws and specifications to police the faith. From my perspective, the faith is becoming more and more focused on the people. Supporting those in your community and loving them where they are, not where you think they should be.

    By banning refugees we are sending the message that an American life is more valuable than a Syrian one, an Iranian one, a Somalian one, etc. Would Christ consider an American life more important? Christ defended the refugee or the "other" all the way to the cross. As a Christian, by definition, I am called to be Christlike and defend the refugee as well.

    As far as the analogy about locking your doors goes - sure you lock your doors at night, but if a neighbor knocked on your door, battered and broken and pleading for your help, would you not let them in and care for them? Because I can tell you Jesus sure would. These people are our neighbors and our brothers and sisters. They cannot control the country or situation they were born into and it is our DUTY to care for them.

    On a more political note, I would like to point out that there have been zero deaths associated with terrorist attacks from the seven countries Trump banned (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen). The countries producing the most deadly terrorists are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt - none of which are included in the ban but ALL of which are locations where Trump and his family have business interests. Please correct me if you have information to the contrary, but everything I've seen has only reinforced my belief that Trump does not care about the American public, he cares only about protecting the interests of himself and his billionaire buddies.

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    1. Yes. Yes yes yes. From one Christian to another, I agree.

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    2. DT didn't list the countries for his own benefit as these countries were labeled by the previous two administrations as well as the DHS. And the two previous administrations as well as the current definitely care about oil and money which would be the reason Saudi will NEVER be listed as that would be detrimental to the Unites States.

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  17. I read through the comments (bravo for keeping it civil!) and I think I agree most with Leslie. A part of me understands the need to keep this country and the citizens here safe. But this ban ISN'T doing it. The seven countries on the list haven't attacked us in 40 years. Saudi Arabia and Egypt didn't make the travel ban list. I wonder why... (Answer: $$$$) I'm salty about this because people who WERE vetted were turned away and sent back. And this unofficial leniency for Christian immigrants is b.s. We are one step away from setting up detainment camps for those of a certain religion (IMHO). Fortunately for all of us (minus Japan-Americans), that DIDN'T happen to our ancestors so we get to sit pretty in the US of A. So I'm mad. And the Skittles analogy (presented during the campaigning) disgusts me. I would eat a bowl full of Skittles and die from three poisonous ones if that meant thousands of lives were saved. But that's just me.
    ANYWAY. That's the part of me that understand the need for vetting and just hates the fact that we turned away people in need and didn't go after the countries that HAVE cost lives.
    But here's the thing- I believe this earth belongs to no one. I was born to middle class parents in a pale-skinned body by chance. If there was a homeless child outside my house I would ABSOLUTELY let them in my home and offer them food and water and clean clothes. I work hard for what I have, but turning a blind eye to those in need is just inexcusable.

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  18. Don't feel anything other than good about your upcoming trip. Yes, it's a privilege that you were born in the US (as an immigrant, I know this for sure) and that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor and go explore other parts of the world. So do it! Have fun! Take lots of pictures! I'm excited for ya!

    As for the ban, I do have views for it that are civil (have I ever shared anything but? :)) but those others who've included analogies already do such a good job of explaining our support. (I do disagree with you on one thing: I'm not for this because he said he'd do something like it and he's carrying out his promise. I'm for it because I strongly believe it'll help keep the bad guys away.)

    As with most divisive issues, I'm working on a post about it. Haven't finished it yet, but I invite you to stop by my blog (therantinglatina.com) later today if you're interested to check it out.

    PS- I watched these this morning. They're snarky, but that's not the tone I wanted to close my comment with, so beware. (They're about where the list of countries originally came from and a former pres's take on the border wall): https://www.facebook.com/myiannopoulos/videos/833549600116270/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED & https://www.facebook.com/stacyjayhawk/videos/1281915515154550/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED

    Keep it up.

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  19. It's an intriguing thought to me that opinions on refugees vary depending on liberal or conservative views. Perhaps this is why I could never be a politician. I agree wholeheartedly that this is a human issue; what if we were in their shoes? How would we respond? The stories are gut wrenching. We are so privileged and most of us don't even realize how so. My husband, a Veteran and who's opinion I greatly admire, gets so angry because it's us who started this. He was in Iraq, causing families to flee their families and home. Who are we then to deny them a place of refuge? Though I don't have answers, I appreciate honest questioning and civil conversations where we're listening and not just hearing.

    www.kristajacobs.blogspot.com

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  20. This video .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE I watched it and then did some of my own research and it's true. By allowing immigrants in, we're not really helping much. It's just like "volun-tourism" when people go on trips and they build houses in foreign countries, but they have no clue how to build a house it doesn't actually help because the people who actually know what they're doing have to redo the work. By allowing people to immigrate, we think we're helping way more than we actually are. I'm a big picture kind of person and to put it simply, I think there are way better ways to help impoverished people and people in bad situations than just immigration. Eventually, we wont have the resources, natural and otherwise, to sustain letting in 1 million people per year. I could discuss this issue for hours and it's sad to me that so many people live in conditions that are so bad they feel like they have no choice but to leave their homes.

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  21. I struggled with what to write here so much that I left it till after I took Leo to school, I am not against refugees generally speaking most are honest people trying to escape hell but I am in favour of them being vetted strictly to make sure those who are allowed in don't become a threat to us. Sadly there are some who try to get into a country as a refugee when in fact they are a terrorist wanting to do us harm so we do need to be careful, it is a sign of the times, the times being those where humans hurt humans those times have been around from day 1, they are not new times but we are more familiar with these issues than years gone by. Those who really are in fear of their lives, those who really are escaping hell, should be able to escape to a safer place but those of us living in a safe country need to take care when allowing them to escape to our safe country

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  22. Thanks for sharing this, Taylor. As anyone who follows me on twitter knows, I'm an agnostic liberal, but I once identified as an evangelical conservative so I feel as though I can usually see both sides of an argument. I am struggling with this ban, however ... I truly fail to see the justification and agree with McCain and Graham (as well as comments by Leslie & Hannah above).

    I could probably rant and rave about this forever, but the comments section on your blog is not the right place ... so I'll keep that for my blog and social media. :)

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  23. You don't sound pissy at all. Everything is confusing right now. Though I agree with a lot of these comments that the goal of this ban was our safety, there are just so many better ways this could have happened. Legal visa holders were denied access to the country they live in. They have lives, families, and people that rely on them here and they weren't allowed back in with no notice at all that this was going to happen. I am all for safety, but not if it means keeping some people safe means putting others in danger.

    Keep posting things like these. Respectful comment sections (like this one) are a great way to open people's minds to new schools of thought. Thanks for starting the conversation!

    www.candidlykelseyblog.com

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  24. This post is exactly what I've been itching to write but not knowing how to get it out. I'm barely making it through this comment, seeing as I've re-written it 5 times already. So, instead of adding my jumbled two cents, I'll just thank you for writing this and putting it out there for those of us who felt the same but couldn't get the words out.

    Also, have a blast in Cuba! I'm dying to go there so I can't wait to hear all about it!

    www.asplashofmimosa.com

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  25. Well written post. It really upsets me to see what is going on in the States right now! It seems like the countries he has chosen to ban haven't been involved in any terrorist attacks in the past decade but he has business dealings in the countries he should be thinking about like Saudi Arabia so he hasn't included them. Europe has welcomed loads of refugees which I think is a overall a great thing. However I would say that the vetting system here has a lot of room for improvement still. I think it is cruel for Trump to turn his back on refugees from war torn Syria. Also what's really horrible is that people who already had green cards are also being affected! What good does that do?! Absolutely nothing. Plus he is turning people against Muslims which just incites more hate and division.

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  26. I always enjoy reading these type of posts from you, as well as the comments that are left. I have to say, you always find a way to respectfully discuss certain topics - and your comments always reflect that too. I think we can all agree on one thing - the world right now is a very confusing and scary place for us all! Thanks for opening up the discussion in such a positive way! :)

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  27. Don't you and Chris want to move to SC so that we can be bff? Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. My husband and I don't typically have the same political opinions. But like you, most of the time I am just flat out confused so it helps to have someone that I love and trust explain certain points of view to me without getting upset. From weeks before the election to present, my Facebook account gives me anxiety. People are being so rude and hateful to each other and it hurts my heart. Cheers to you- and Harlow!

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  28. Love, love, love this. Well said, well written, and NOT abrasive. Basically everything NOT facebook currently. Love it girl.

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  29. It's sad to me the best defense your conservative readership is willing to share are weak analogies. This is NOT a simple issue, it is okay for some things to be complex. This is the problem with Trump in general.

    Anyway, for those spouting the analogies, how do you justify not totally banning guns then? Guns are the poison skittle too. If extreme vetting isn't enough for Muslims, why is minor getting enough for gun ownership? If you want to protect your second amendment rights, why aren't first amendment rights just as important? There's no evidence whatsoever that either ban will keep anyone safe. Why not take a chance on it?

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  30. That poor girl above who was scared to post under her name! That right there just makes me cringe and realize what the state of our country (world) and how mean people can be just because they don't have the same beliefs. :(
    I think this is all so hard for anyone and everyone to understand and comprehend. There are conservatives that are all about it because how could they not be since they voted for DT. Then there are liberals that believe anyone and everyone should have the rights of Americans no matter what. And then you have people like me, the middle, who just don't know what the hell to think! I am all about addressing the vetting process and refugee programs as well as people that are here ILLEGALLY. I don't think DT should have done this through an EO, but rather, a comprehensive analysis of the current state and dangers, etc THEN going for it. I think I would have respected the decision a little more if it didn't seem like it was off the cuff. I just plain don't know!
    PS: I love that you are left and Chris is right!!! That just shows how our generation is changing the world because back in our parents time it was sooo rare to have opposite political views in a marriage under the same roof.

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    1. Totally agree with you. I agree that the vetting process needs to be reevaluated and I am not at all OK with people who come here illegally, but an EO was definitely not the way to go about it. I think he's trying a bit to hard at the moment to prove that he's standing by his campaign promises, which I get. But some things take time and people understand that. This is one of those things that he should have taken a bit more time on.

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  31. My feelings align very similarly with yours. And in fact, I have posted on my own social media in regards to the ban, "What would Jesus do?" I think I have struggled the most with friends and family and church members who voted for Trump on the basis of Christianity -- because he's "what God wants for this country." From what I've seen of him, Trump goes against everything Christianity and Jesus teaches. But...that's a whole other ballgame.

    When I step back, I do see part of the argument for the ban. But I think it was presented so terribly. Trump and his administration had to know this was going to be controversial and cause such a backlash. Before making the announcement, why not speak to the American people (we know he loves a photo/TV op) and explain the ban before "boom, here it is." If this is just to slow down and take time to review our vetting procedures, then okay, but say that from the get go. Instead of trying to address some of the controversy after the fact via a press secretary, present it up front. I just think it has been handled very poorly. And I think it is terribly unfair that this is impacting people who have already spent two years going through the vetting process and have been approved. Put a ban on new immigrant applications. But when someone has literally already sold their home and everything they have to get on a plane, have some mercy. Where are they supposed to live for the next 120 days?

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  32. Unless you're native American, this country started from refugees and immigrants. to me, it's insane that our country, that so many people love and come to each year to better their self and lives are turned away. what if that had happened to our families/forefathers? the united states would be insanely different. I received an email from the former secretary of state - Madeleine Albright - and she brought up outstanding points including that this executive order does not reflect American values! I'm happy to send it your way, if you'd like. I see eye to eye with you on these issues - and it's been only recently that I've really emerged into politics - but it's time we take action and pay attention! thanks for the read :)

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  33. I'm not going to lie, it's difficult for me to write this in a calm and measured manner... as I personally find the ban outrageous and entirely worthy of pissy-ness, outrage, disgust, and resistance. First I want to say I really appreciate that you address these issues (always so diplomatically!) and engage with your readers on divisive issues. I am growing weary of fluff-filled blogs offering a "distraction" from everything going on in the news and the world. I still enjoy pretty interiors and entertaining posts, but knowing the writer is an engaged and active citizen willing to share their opinions every now and then keeps me coming back.

    The defense I've read here and elsewhere completely minimizes the complexity and ignores the reality of immigration and refugee law and policy in the U.S.. You simply cannot reduce this issue to a fear of outsiders or a desire to protect your loved ones over foreigners. The United States does not have an open door policy - far from it.

    The vetting process is one of the most stringent in the world, and as both a human rights lawyer and the wife to a (non-Muslim) man coming from a Muslim-majority country not on the list, I can assure you immigrants and refugees are not flippantly pouring into the U.S. posing a risk to national security. Furthermore, there is no sudden threat warranting dramatic, executive action, ESPECIALLY if the most threatening countries aren't even included!

    I don't believe the ban is about safety or protection. Its politics. As stated in an analysis I highly recommend (link below), "This is the implementation of a campaign promise to keep out Muslims moderated only by the fact that certain allied Muslim countries are left out because the diplomatic repercussions of including them would be too detrimental." I highly recommend this legal analysis by a fairly objective scholar (pro-drone strikes, "positively enthusiastic" about American surveillance policies): https://lawfareblog.com/malevolence-tempered-incompetence-trumps-horrifying-executive-order-refugees-and-visas.

    Thanks again for keeping it real, Taylor!

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    1. Ok, I had to add this excerpt, despite having posted what is possibly the longest comment ever ;) Can't hold back!

      "But in the rational pursuit of security objectives, you don’t marginalize your expert security agencies and fail to vet your ideas through a normal interagency process. You don’t target the wrong people in nutty ways when you’re rationally pursuing real security objectives.

      When do you do these things? You do these things when you’re elevating the symbolic politics of bashing Islam over any actual security interest. You do them when you’ve made a deliberate decision to burden human lives to make a public point. In other words, this is not a document that will cause hardship and misery because of regrettable incidental impacts on people injured in the pursuit of a public good. It will cause hardship and misery for tens or hundreds of thousands of people because that is precisely what it is intended to do."

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  34. Big kudos for the civil post, which has generated so many respectful comments.

    I see the executive order as two issues:

    1.) The immigration ban. I haven't quite sorted out how I feel about this, especially after seeing what has happened in Germany and other EU countries who threw open their doors to refugees. I do believe that any visas already granted should be honored.

    2.) The refusal to allow greencard holders back into what is truly their home country. This provision I absolutely, adamantly oppose. Can you imagine? You left on vacation one day and suddenly are not allowed back into a country in which you CAN VOTE, MUST register for the draft (if you are male), and to which you PAY INCOME TAXES. Where the heck are you supposed to go? That's like telling me that I'm of Irish descent, so I should give up my life in America and go to Ireland (a country I have never visited and where I do not know a soul).

    The scariest thing for me is the how thoughtlessly and rashly this order was implemented. DHS, ICE, and other agencies had virtually no direction or guidance, and there was mass confusion as each branch struggled to interpret the order. I'm terrified that a man who has so little foresight on the impact of his actions has access to nuclear codes.

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  35. Taylor,

    I have been meaning to respond to a few of your posts for the past month (first time to follow and respond to a blog). Thank you for this, the women's march, and a couple of your new year's posts in particular. They have all been well written, thought provoking, and sincere. I genuinely appreciate the level of honesty and soul searching you have put out there, and it has driven me to think more deeply about what role I want/need/feel compelled to play with this set of complex issues. It has driven a lot of talk with my neighbors and friends (I have even quoted you!). Many of us are in the same place, trying to figure out the best way to start that feels right.

    In the meantime, I travel fairly extensively around the world for work as well as work with colleagues and suppliers almost everywhere in the world. The questions that I get about what is going on in the US are consistently pretty direct from hotel clerks to taxi drivers to fellow overseas employees. I happen to work in manufacturing, and if it weren't for the relationships we have with our global supply chain, network of international employees (some of whom work in the US on visas; side note, it is challenging to find top talent in technical fields that also want to live in small manufacturing towns for more than a couple of years thus being able to sponsor visas is important), and international trade agreements, we would not be able to employ as many people as we do, or make as much product as we do domestically. I see the value every day in my community and the communities we touch across this country and around the world. My inner economics geek gets excited about it.

    I have never been affiliated with a political party and feel that I am fairly moderate in my views (understand the value of a global economy and open borders partnered with a sense of compassion for my local and extended communities and an awareness of the need to protect both human rights and our environment). I am also second generation American. I vote on a regular basis, but I have not been involved otherwise. I will take ownership for not making my views and concerns known to my congressman and representatives in my pinkish red county. How are they to know that their district is not so homogeneous in its views if I and my fellow residents don't speak up. So that's where I am at the moment in my journey. Determining what path is right for me and committing to following through.

    I am headed back to India on Friday for work. Curious/apprehensive about what questions I will get this time.

    At any rate, thanks again for the posts. While I started following your instagram for Harlow (I swear he and my dog could be related), I have stayed engaged for posts like these. So to answer a concern you had a few weeks ago, don't be afraid to let yourself be vulnerable. Your best writing and work come from that place. It has an impact on your followers because we can feel the authenticity in your voice and respond to it. Sometimes that little bit of fear is what you need to push and challenge yourself. Incredibly long post to say thank, please keep up the great work!

    Thanks,

    Dana
    aka santis7i

    P.s. have a great time in Cuba!

    P.p.s. am practicing vocalizing my gratitude every day....so far so good.

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  36. Taylor, thank you for writing this! I have been wondering what to do as a blogger over the last couple of weeks... whether to stay "on brand" or tell the world how I'm feeling, and I am so proud that other bloggers are really starting to speak out. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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  37. Lets sing kombaya altogether, we are all brothers and sisters....Since all of you were born and raised in the so called liberal western civilization you won't be able to understand the mentality of people issued from Islamic belief system...you have to live my life to understand how wise and great President Trump is. But your simplistic naive mentalities won't be able to understand deeply than your suicidal empathy.

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  38. Thank you for writing this. I look forward to your political posts, because they are smart, beautifully written and provide a polite space for people to express their views that is so much more productive than my Facebook feed. Enjoy your time in Cuba!

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