As liberals continue to freak out over Trump’s temporary travel ban on individuals leaving terror-prone countries, they should be reminded that many of them previously supported quite a few travel bans.
Following the terrorist attack on 9/11, Congress passed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, which aimed to minimize many of the vulnerabilities in our visa tracking system. The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously and received overwhelming support from many Democrats we see today arguing against Trump’s same ban.
The bill was bipartisan and had the support of staunch Leftists like Ted Kennedy and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (F, 0%). The main premise of the Act was to restrict nonimmigrant visas from countries the United States deemed as state sponsors of terrorism:
SEC. 306. RESTRICTION ON ISSUANCE OF VISAS TO NONIMMIGRANTS FROM COUNTRIES THAT ARE STATE SPONSORS OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM.
(a) IN GENERAL- No nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.1101(a)(15)) shall be issued to any alien from a country that is a state sponsor of international terrorism unless the Secretary of State determines, in consultation with the Attorney General and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that such alien does not pose a threat to the safety or national security of the United States. In making a determination under this subsection, the Secretary of State shall apply standards developed by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that are applicable to the nationals of such states.
According to Conservative Review:
The directive to cut off non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror is still current law on the books [8 U.S. Code § 1735]. Presidents Bush and Obama later used their discretion to waive the ban, but Trump is actually following the letter of the law — the very law sponsored and passed by Democrats — more closely than Obama did. Trump used his 212(f) authority to add immigrant visas, but that doesn’t take away the fact that every Democrat in the 2002 Senate supported the banning of non-immigrant visas.
Fifteen sitting Democrats, including their Minority Leader, voted for the 2002 bill: