Alfonse D'Amato

Partisan politics trumps national security


President Trump’s controversial travel ban suffered a setback when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted to uphold the block on his executive order. The ruling by the three-judge panel was unanimous, and means that citizens from the seven Muslim-majority countries that were named in the order will be able to travel to the U.S.

After the vote, the judges offered this statement: “The public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies . . . the public also has an interest in the free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination.”

If you examine recent polls, however, the travel ban has continued to garner support from the American public. A newly released survey conducted by Morning Consult/Politico from Feb. 2 to 4 found that 55 percent of Americans approve of the order, compared with 38 percent who disapprove.

It is hard to comprehend how these judges, who do not receive the same intelligence as the president, could make this decision. It is truly a shame that ultra-liberal politics have become the order of the day in the 9th Circuit. The travel ban will now likely head to the Supreme Court for a final decision on its legality. It is important to note that on average, eight out of 10 cases from the 9th Circuit Court that are reviewed by the Supreme Court are overturned.

Right now the Supreme Court lacks a ninth justice, meaning that there is a real chance of a 4-4 split along liberal and conservative ideological lines. This means there is a strong possibility that the Supreme Court will affirm the ruling of the 9th Circuit, which could be seen as a huge blow to the Trump administration.

“It’s a political decision,” Trump said. “We are going to see them in court, and I am looking forward to doing that.”

The president is correct. Friends, do not be confused. This ruling had nothing to do with the law; it was motivated purely by politics. The 9th Circuit, which is known for its liberal rulings, was used by the Democratic Party to halt the progress Trump is making on national security.

Let’s remember, the seven nations that are singled out in the travel ban — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — were the same ones that were identified by the Obama administration as the most dangerous countries in the world when it came to harboring terrorists. There is a reason why President Obama said that we need to exercise extreme caution when vetting people attempting to enter the U.S. from these nations.

It is truly disappointing to see partisan politics from the Democratic Party and the liberal media affect our national security, and I hope the higher court upholds Trump’s ban so we can put in place an advanced vetting system to ensure that those attempting to come to this nation are doing so for the right reasons.

Trump is doing more than just defending his executive orders. He also recently hosted a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, opening a new chapter in the relationship of two strong allies, the U.S. and Japan.

It appears that Trump and Abe quickly developed a friendship, sending a stark message to China that the U.S. is committed to the security of Japan, which faces increasing challenges in the region, such as China’s maritime expansion in the South China Sea and North Korea’s nuclear missile development.

It is good to see Trump offering unwavering support for one of our strongest allies. I hope that this relationship becomes stronger, and the two can work on developing new economic policies after Trump wisely withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column?