Trump's Travel Ban Says This Iranian Grandmother Is Too Dangerous to Visit Her American Grandchild

Trump's immigration order is cruel, counterproductive, and punishes immigrants (and their families) who have followed the rules and don't pose a threat.


Photo courtesy Jessi Kolouri

To understand just how cruel and counterproductive Donald Trump's executive order restricting immigration is, consider the story of Soheil Kolouri.

At age 22, he came to the United States from Iran to work on a graduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

While there, he met Jessi Day, an American from Colorado. The two fell in love, were married in 2012, and are now expecting their first child in May.

In 2015, after Kolouri finished his doctorate in biomedical engineering, the couple relocated to the Los Angeles area, where he is now working as a research scientist, helping to develop cutting edge artificial intelligence technology.

Kolouri's story is the quintessential tale of successful immigration to the United States. Yes, the jobs have changed—good luck explaining artificial intelligence research to a 19th century Irish immigrant—as have the countries of origin. But the essential story remains the same: for centuries, immigrants have come to the United States seeking to improve their lives by learning here, working here, and raising families here, and in the process improving the country for everyone.

President Donald Trump is altering that story—for the worse.

His executive order banning Muslim immigrants and visitors from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa not only shuts the door to future students who want to follow in Kolouri's footsteps, it also punishes immigrants who are already here, and who have done everything right.

With his wife expecting their first child in May, Kolouri was making preparations for a visit from his mother, Shahin Atlasbaf.

"The thought of finally meeting her daughter-in-law and her grandson gives my mother joy beyond words," Kolouri wrote in a Facebook post over the weekend. "She squeals with excitement while saying the most endearing words in Farsi to Jessi and our baby."

Atlasbaf is 66, lives in Iran, and was widowed three years ago when Kolouri's father died unexpectedly. She was in the process of obtaining a non-immigrant visitor visa, and was planning to stay for about a month to visit and help the new parents with their newborn infant, Jessi Kolouri told me in an interview on Monday. Atlasbaf had an appointment in May for a visa interview at the U.S. embassy in Dubai—because there is no American embassy in Iran—and was "counting down the days until her arrival."

Trump's executive order changed all that. Atlasbaf received a notification on Saturday that her visa interview had been cancelled because of the new policy on immigration.

"Per U.S. Presidential Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, visa issuance to aliens from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended effective immediately until further notification," it said. "Your upcoming VISA appointment was canceled in compliance with these new directives."

"Now I am deeply struggling to find words to explain to her why she is disallowed to see her grandson," wrote Soheil Kolouri.

Trump's immigration policy deems a 66-year-old grandmother to be such a threat to the safety of the United States that she doesn't even have the chance to look immigration officials in the eye and assure them that she's not a terrorist. It's a policy that will keep her from being able to visit her son and daughter-in-law, and may even keep her from ever looking at her grandchild.

Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst for the Cato Institute, compiled a list of all foreign-born people who committed or were convicted of attempting to commit a terrorist attack on U.S. soil from 1975 through 2015. The list includes 154 individuals who succeeded in killing 3,024 Americans (the vast majority of which were killed in the September 11, 2011, attacks).

Only 17 of those 154 terrorists hailed from the seven countries covered by Trump's immigration ban. Attacks planned or carried out by those 17 individuals killed exactly zero Americans.

"The first sentence of his order states that it is to 'protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States,'" Nowrasteh notes. "However, the countries that Trump chose to temporarily ban are not serious terrorism risks."

The Kolouris are hardly the only immigrants facing this sort of situation in the wake of Trump's executive order. But their story highlights the two major problems with the new administration's haphazard and ham-handed policy on Muslim immigration.

In a widely shared piece published at Lawfare Blog, Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, argued over the weekend that Trump's executive order on immigration is "both wildly over-inclusive and wildly under-inclusive."

"On the over-inclusive side," Wittes wrote, "it will prevent untold numbers of people about whom there is no whiff of suspicion from coming here as students, as professionals, as tourists. It overtly treats members of a particular religion differently from other people."

That includes people like Atlasbaf, a sexagenarian soon-to-be-grandmother who wouldn't be considered a threat by any reasonable person.

On the other side, though, the executive order falls well short of identifying people who may be more likely to be actual threats, Wittes says, because it does not apply to immigrants from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or several other countries that have a history of exporting terrorism to the United States.

"There is, in fact, simply no rational relationship between cutting off visits from the particular countries that Trump targets (Muslim countries that don't happen to be close U.S. allies) and any expected counterterrorism goods," he concludes.

The State Department, in a memo issued Monday, said Trump's travel ban might hurt counter-terrorism efforts by souring diplomatic relations between the United States and countries targeted by the new policy.

The ban "will not achieve its stated aim of to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States," the draft memo notes, CNN reported Monday. "Given the near-absence of terror attacks committed in recent years by Syrian, Iraqi, Irani, Libyan, Somalia, Sudanese, and Yemeni citizens who are in the US after entering on a visa, this ban will have little practical effect in improving public safety."

The inept and seemingly vicious implementation of the new immigration policy has cost Trump both practical and political resources that could have been put to better sure. People who likely would have agreed with and defended a more restrictive immigration policy, had it been developed and implemented in a more deliberate fashion, are left with little choice but to oppose it.

Trump didn't do any of those things. The result is a legally dubious policy that seems to violate federal law prohibiting immigration policies that discriminate against certain nationalities. It may well be dismantled in court over the next few weeks—a process that already has begun with a series of court orders issued over the weekend suspending the order—unless the Trump administration makes some changes and attempts to save face. So far, there is little indication that the administration will shift its approach.

Sean Spicer, Trump's press secretary, on Monday attempted to justify the travel ban by pointing out that hundreds of thousands of travelers moved through American airports over the weekend without trouble.

"On Saturday, 109 people out of 329,000 were slowed down," Spicer told reporters at his daily media briefing. "I think this is being blown out of proportion."

Setting aside the obvious logical fallacy at play here—that it's okay to violate federal law and court order as long as only a small minority of people are harmed by that action—there's no doubt that the consequences of Trump's travel ban go far beyond the few hundred people who were detained over the weekend, as the Kolouris' story shows.

Shahin Atlasbaf will not be able to get a visa and won't get to visit her grandchild. The Kolouris are not sure whether they will be able to visit Soheil's relatives in Iran, either.

As an Iranian citizen, he would be able to go back anytime he wanted, but his wife and future child might not be allowed to come with him (in response to Trump's immigration order, the Iranian government on Saturday closed its borders to Americans).

There's also concern about whether Kolouri would be able to get back into the United States. He has a green card and is considered a lawful permanent resident, but it's so far unclear whether the White House's order would apply to him as well—some green card holders reportedly were detained over the weekend before being released.

Soheil believes that Trump's immigration policy "only fuels the fire of hatred in our nation and in the world."

"I would like to remind you," Soheil wrote to Trump in an open letter posted to his Facebook page, "that immigrants like myself are the bricks and mortar of our society, educational system, and economy."

NEXT: The GOP Effort to Repeal and Replace Obamacare Isn't Going Very Well

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  1. How do you know she isn't?

    1. Common sense ban on assauly grandmothers.

      1. Ask sloopy about that.

  2. Yes, the jobs have changed?good luck explaining artificial intelligence research to a 19th century Irish immigrant...

    A little bit of Irish-bashing from out of nowhere.

    1. Muslims are a Sacred People; enlightened geniuses ready and willing to work miracles making the World and, yes, America, a better place.

      Paddys are brawling, drunken papists suitable only for carrying bricks and pounding railroad spikes.

      1. Guinness Akbar?

        1. Is he that admiral from Star Wars?

  3. Did I read something wrong when I read that this ban is temporary and will be done in 90 days?

    1. I don't think the progs believe that the ban is temporary; look at how they went ballistic about the temporary gag order for EPA staff. And then how they turned around and claimed victory when the order was indeed lifted.

    2. Why don't you ask the embassy officials who cancelled her appointment, which was more than 90 days away?

      1. Yeah, you're right. There's no way she could ever make a new appointment.

        1. If the ban won't apply after 90 days, why did they cancel it?

          1. Because they are bureaucratic assholes.

            1. Bureaucrats being assholes is a foreseeable consequence.

          2. Dude, I get it. You're right. It's entirely unpossible that they would have cleared their calendars until they get their marching orders straight before taking appointments again. Stuff like that never happens. I get it. Now get off my back about it.

      2. Sounds like the error lies with the embassy officials.

        Ban is 90 days while new processes are implemented.

    3. Reason simply pumping out another one of their 10 anti-trump pieces a day. They gotta make quota.

      I am surprised someone from Iran has the dough to fly from Dubai to the US and back to simply visit.

      In Hillary is president timeline this grandma ghosts herself once her visa expires and stays in the US, her husband died, and she is a widow in Iran, and likely spent a large portion of her assets getting a plane ticket. She was coming here to stay.

      No one has been harmed. It's 90 days.

    4. Right, because one well known libertarian principle is that arbitrary and pointless government actions are just fine so long as they only last 90 days.

      1. One libertarian principle is any action taken by government which increases control over people whether for the good or bad is bad.

        Libertarians favorite principle however is to commit political suicide over and over.

        Another Libertarian principle is to select weak candidates

        The last Libertarian principle is to appeal to hipsters and other urban folk by holding "muh Weed" as sacrosanct. 90% of those hipster liberals will never accept free market economic calculation. Once weed gets legalized everywheres those hipsters will be gone.

        I followed Lew Rockwell as did others. Reason magazine and others decided to double down the other way.

      2. I would prefer not to have people around me that want to kill me for my religion and my sexual orientation. In a libertarian country, I could exercise my right to free association and simply keep such people away from me. In the US, I can't; my only option is to vote for representatives that wield blunt instruments to make that happen. So, I'm sorry that someone's nice Muslim grandmother can't come and visit, but it's not about her, it's about her fundamentalist grandson.

  4. Perhaps they can meetup in Vancouver.

  5. What federal laws were broken here?

      1. So it is cool as long as you allow for some exceptions which is what that piece told me. Didn't he allow for religious minorities?

        1. Some exceptions, limited to groups, are allowed, but this EO arguably oversteps the clear language of the Act by temporarily banning whole nationalities from entry with only limited exceptions.

          1. Thanks. So if there was more exceptions (like say green cards or students or whatever) then would be ok? Sorry just trying to discern.

            1. Sorry if I was unclear. I meant that some exceptions to the Act's ban on discrimination based on nationality are allowed. Trump's ban appears to go beyond "some exceptions," i.e., it bans whole nations, not just groups of people from those nations.

              1. This article fails in that it is a blatant attempt to manipulate sympathy. Should i instead grab pictures of the women raped by Muslim immigrants in various european countries? Do we need montages of the people killed by Islamic terrorists?

                One would expect this level of drivel from huffpo or msnbc.

                1. Alright. But why did you post that as reply here?

                  1. Started out as a totally different comment.

  6. RE: Trump's Travel Ban Says This Iranian Grandmother Is Too Dangerous to Visit Her American Grandchild

    Trump is right.
    One only has to look at terrorist activities the "Grandmother Brigade" has done in our country to understand why foreign grandmothers should not be allowed in the country.
    Their actions speaks for themselves.

    1. God knows how many guilt trips those foreign grandmothers put people on..

  7. Soheil believes that Trump's immigration policy "only fuels the fire of hatred in our nation and in the world."

    They hate us for our freedoms that we won't share, I guess.

      1. Yeah, I am really baffled at the idea that they hate us for not letting them move here.

        That's some serious pass aggressive judo.

        1. "Let them eat hate."

          1. I almost wet myself trying to keep from laughing out loud in my quiet office.

  8. I disagree with the ban, but Obama and Bush both think that grandmothers in wheelchairs are a threat the TSA needs to address, as well as my children who both traveled through TSA lines as infants.

    1. So you're saying they're not on the no-fly list then.

  9. Anecdotal evidence does not contradict a general trend. Reason's better than this.

    1. Nope, they most certainly aren't.

    2. They really aren't.

    3. Reason is increasingly asinine. Expect this degree of disingenuous claptrap henceforth.

    4. Exactly. Does this suck for a lot of good, honest people? Absolutely. Is it better to get this over with now rather than wait another 10 years? Absolutely.

      1. But but but. . . It's for the children!

        This is just about common sense immigrant control. If you reject this you reject America.

        Hey, no wonder the progtards have been doing this for 8 years. It's kinda fun!

    5. What was the general trend that was solved by this EO exactly? This is nothing more than security theater bullshit and it incompetently implemented.

      1. To be fair, more security theater is a general trend, I guess.

    6. No, they are not.

    7. Reason has gone way downhill in recent years. This is a legal measure that affected around 100 travellers, does not affect 87% of the world's Muslims, its not a ban, its not permanent and is not directed solely at Muslims. Obama did something very similar to Iraq a few years ago. And he used an EO to strand refugees from a totalitarian dictatorship just a couple weeks ago. And Cuba is not known for exporting terror. Not a peep of protest from the left.

    8. "Anecdotal evidence does not contradict a general trend."
      Correct. It does provide a good "human interest" hook however. Especially when backed up by:

      "Only 17 of those 154 terrorists hailed from the seven countries covered by Trump's immigration ban. Attacks planned or carried out by those 17 individuals killed exactly zero Americans." and other such evidence to the "general trend".

  10. Correct!!!!!!!!

    President Trump's ban only punishes those illegal immigrants living here taking free handouts from our Government, doing nothing to become a citizen and having Sharia law tell our Government hands off. So, the "punishment" talked about in the article is nothing more than, excuse the line, Shit Or Get Off The Pot.

    No more free rides folks....the President has been telling the folks that voted him into office this for well over a year now!

    Denial is just the refusal to accept the facts.

    1. His order had nothing to do with illegal immigrants.

    2. Ummmm. The ban does nothing to anyone already in the country, legally or not, Muslimy or not.

  11. Sob stories belong with Lenore, who does a crappy job because she's only interested in selling her book. No one cares about sob stories unless it feeds their personal narrative.

    Are y'all about done with this? There's other things going on in the world.

    1. It makes it easier to defend the general premise of the thing if we don't pretend it was executed competently. Tailoring it more narrowly with a few common-sense caveats (such as those suggested by Cooke) would have done well to prevent sob stories from becoming the face of it.

      1. Not to mention one of the recurring defenses I'm seeing people outside Trump's ambit make for the EO is that it's temporary and it gives discretion to the heads of State and the DHS to carve out exemptions where necessary, such as for foreign translators who rendered aid to the US military. If that's supposed to help lefties swallow the bitter medicine, well, a few visible exemptions where the law doesn't make sense would help.

      2. No, the sob stories were inevitable. Remember the sob story about the little drowned kid who died because his parents were leaving a country where their welfare eligibility ran out for a country with a sweeter deal?

        The Cooke-ian refinements wouldn't have helped sad grandma at all (unless she made sure she was "in transit" before the delayed "effective date").

        1. The media would have moved heaven and earth looking for anyone who so much as missed a flight due to the new restrictions, but hell, there's no reason to make it easy for them.

          1. That's true.

        2. Bingo. If grandma can wait 90 days for an appointment, she can wait 180.

          1. Apparently if she can't be there while the baby is coming out then the terrorists have won.

      3. Emotional fodder of this sort can be manufactured with ease, even without the barest kernel of truth. They'd find a way to spoonfeed you bullshit like this regardless.

      4. Yes, because adding in some caveats would have prevented this... No. Actually it wouldn't have. It's Trump. He could help this woman cross the street and it would be reported as 'Trump gropes Granny'.

        All these articles are noise. The only saving grace is there are still some decent comments.

    2. Can't wait for all the reason sob-stories about poor little Sarah with ms whose parents are destitute now that the mean old GOP repealed their Obamacare. Or poor Jamal who can't get by without a $15/hr minimum wage. I agree the implementation was inept, but even the most carefully crafted implementation of constitutional governance is going to produce a few losers. Sob stories are one big reason the ratchet of big government only goes one way.

      1. Exactly this.

        We need singlepayer cause Betty can't and won't pay for health insurance premiums

        1. Call me a heartless asshole (really!) I fail to see why we should aid people who are unwilling (but physically and mentally able) to help themselves.

          That would be Betty's problem and whatever people think her existence is with preserving.

      2. already read on another site the sob stories of fear by people who believe that the government will take away their insulin

        1. If it's not free, you're literally killing them.

    3. Agreed.

      Trump's executive order changed all that. Atlasbaf received a notification on Saturday that her visa interview had been cancelled because of the new policy on immigration.

      And they could've picked a more compelling story, at least. US embassy/consulate websites and visa applications are very clear that a visa can be denied at any time for any reason, or no reason at all (FYTW even), as many of my Brazilian friends know too well. That's just how it is, and how it's been for awhile. At least find someone with a green card who was being unlawfully barred from returning.

      1. Still having trouble smuggling in your trannie?

        1. Luckily Brazilian trannies with Italian passports don't need a visa, so she's found a way out, for now...

        2. There are no chicks with dicks man, only guys with tits...

  12. As I suspected, the temporary ban is pretty popular, once you leave the twitterverse. A solid majority support, and about a third oppose. Caveat:

    The survey was taken prior to the weekend, so it remains to be seen whether the trumped-up media firestorm and Soros-sponsored protests had any effect on public opinion.


    1. It was also taken prior to the EO being signed or available to read.

      1. Eine glorreiche Revolution des Proletariats soll aus dem gegenw?rtigen Konflikt zwischen dem Obersten Leader Trump und seinen edlen und selbstlosen progressiven Gegnern aufsteigen.

        Wir m?ssen zusammen mit unseren islamischen Br?dern und Schwestern vor dem r?cksichtslosen Kapitalismus und dem Faschismus stehen, von denen Donald Trump das perfekte Vorbild ist.

        1. Yeah, you're definitely not the one shitting your pants.

          1. Mocking your noxious imbecility is entertainment for me.

            1. You misspelled "I like to show off in front of my yokel friends because it's a nice way of avoiding uncomfortable points."

              1. Somehow I think Americans who can speak German aren't yokels.

                1. If you don't think exactly like HR, you're a yokel. It is known.

    2. Remember when everyone made fun of reason for all the polls they released? Guess we are pro-poll, or should I say, pro-survey?

    3. So "solid majority support" for what was an abstract expression of an idea and no experience with the actual implementation?

  13. I will give Reason credit for going with "sad grandma" rather than "pathetic doe-eyed child".

    1. I was gonna say that's Skenazy beat, but Hamster beat me to it.

  14. Two groups I've decided to stop paying attention to in the refugee debate: pants-shitters and the teddy bear brigade. This article falls in the latter.

    There's things to object to in Mr. Trump's EO. But, the fact that some grandmother, somewhere might possibly be inconvenienced shouldn't form the basis of our national security policy.

    1. You hater!

      /prog idiots

  15. Ok, good, great. Now can we have some pics of little girls sitting in the street in Aleppo? How about some pictures of a dead toddler on the beach somewhere? How about just some cherry picked photos showing that all refugees and immigrants from the middle east are just women and children, not a gang of 18-25 year old single men? Why are you rednecks afraid of women and children?

    I could just go read HuffPo for a while, it's the exact same stuff I'll be reading.

      1. HT ENB ^ I've been reading Cooke's takes all morning but I hadn't seen that summary.

        1. My bad, I thought this is the article you were referring to upthread, and I'm enjoying it.

          Then well done, ENB, thanks for the read.

    1. We need to have the cute-stuffed-animal-n-rubble photo or I'll feel like they're just not giving us enough respect.

    2. The obvious solution is to ban all male immigrants who speak arabic or farsi.

    3. Now can we have some pics of little girls sitting in the street in Aleppo?

      In the street in a what??

      1. It's a brand of dog food. Though I don't know why a little girl would be sitting in it.

        1. Because that's all they have to eat since ALL MUSLIMS ARE BANNED FROM AMERICA FOREVER!!!!

          1. Oh, duh.

  16. Fake libertarianism. Reason sure has declined. You know full well the average American endures a continuous and endless assault by government regulations and taxes and I'm not buying your phony compassion today. Fakes.

    1. They still haven't even written an article on Trump's new EO that removes 2 regulations for every new one created.

      Libertarians around the world should be simultaneously shitting their pants in happiness and blowing kazoos.

  17. Shahin Atlasbaf will not be able to get a visa and won't get to visit her grandchild.

    Like, ever? Why?

    1. Repeal of Obamacare will cause the death of a firstborn in every household that didn't hang a red MAGA hat on their front door.

    2. Why can't grandchild visit her?

      1. The father is on a green card. While they've walked that part back now, if I was a green card holder from one of those countries (or a country that could conceivably be on a new list) I wouldn't leave the country until this all blows over. And if I was out of the country I'd get back ASAP.

      2. That's not part of the narrative, shut up, bagger!

        1. I'm surprised you are still able to make yourself look less informed. My mistake.

      3. Because Iran has done a tit-for-tat ban on US visitors.

        1. Yes. Both of them were very disappointed.

  18. All of this handwringing fails to deal with a major issue; over the last half-century a major portion of the world has slipped from the degree of civilization one might hope to meet in, say, late 19th Century India into a degree of barbarism that strongly resembles the 12th Century, with the addition of firearms and explosives. Allowing immigration and continuing to maintain diplomatic relations has done a lot of no good whatsoever. So, let Trump slap them around for a while.

    I'm sorry if this offends peoples' Modern Cosmopolitan sensibilities, but I'm sick of barbarism and excuses. Frankly, they make bad old Victorian Paternalistic Colonialism look awfully goddamned good.

    Pity we haven't the temperament for it.

  19. Obama, that paragon of restraint, waited a whole 9 days to weigh in on Trump.

    Seriously, the article praises him for making it this long.

    1. Not clicking that. See, I don't have to listen to Charlie Brown's teacher lecture anymore. Therefore I won't.

      1. Hell, I don't think I've listened to more than 2 minutes of Obama talking for a few years now.

        1. If you want to pretend just say 'l' over and over. It's like being in the Navy but without the prison convict uniform.

    2. Obama released a statement on Monday expressing solidarity with those protesting his successor's ban on travelers and refugees entering the United States from certain Muslim-majority countries.

      Of course, conspicuous by its absence in this statement was any mention of the fact that the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets.

      1. Well yeah, sure.

        But, no grandmothers so everyone was just fine with that.

    3. Anyone taking bets on how long it takes Obama to become as long winded, faux-pious, tiresome, and deranged as Jimmy Carter?

    4. He said it's nice that people demonstrated and expressed their views. I agree it is. That's part of a healthy discussion. And waving around signs in the cold for a few hours with no effect may change some minds... Of the people waving the flags.

  20. If Trump had set an effective date, briefed the DHS, exempted those in transit, and excluded green card holders, he'd have been fine.

    I'll agree that not excluding green card holders was a whiff (although the notion that a green card is incompatible with terrorism is contradicted by the number of terror attacks committed by green card holders).

    Unless the effective date is "tomorrow", you're going to get a whole bunch of people in transit. Not sure how much briefing DHS needs on "Don't let people from these countries in unless they have a valid green card".

  21. I think I'm going to stop bitching about the Reason articles. Just going to discuss with commenters and have a little fun. All of this seems to be an attempt to recruit disaffected Dems/progressives/lunatic left to the Libertarian party. I hope it is what Reason thinks they are doing, otherwise it's all just pants shitting.

    1. Hey smoked pork dude- I asked you something a few days ago and forgot to check for the answer: do you live near the ketchup bottle? That was a highlight of my last trip down there.

      1. My name is bacon, old pedo(j/k hopefully). I live about 20 minutes from there, sir.

        1. I wear all my previous personae with pride. I *am* a physical chemist.

          1. You're a bartender? 😉

            1. I've never passed the bar.

    2. Yeah its totally not the people freaking out about muslims and sacrificing liberty for security who are doing the pants shitting.

      1. Sacrificing what liberty? The liberty to a quick and streamlined visa process?

        1. How about the American citizen (and soon to be American citizen)'s right to free associate with their MIL/Grandmonther?

          Also freedom of travel, though I know that's not popular around these parts any more.

          1. Freedom of travel is a positive "right." I don't disagree that this is a somewhat stupid immigration policy, but there seems to be a strain of libertarianism that ignores the property-rights-killing aspects of open borders.

            1. Borders are not private property. The government interfering on who I can invite to my property is a violation of my rights not the other way around. Freedom of travel is not a positive right. Freedom of travel on other people's property certainly is but again the border isn't some kind of collective property.

              1. the border isn't some kind of collective property.

                Actually, that's exactly what it is.

              2. Borders are not private property. The government interfering on who I can invite to my property is a violation of my rights not the other way around.

                It's not about your property. It's about the public property in between.

                To employ a commonly used libertarian device, how many people does a group have to contain before they no longer have property rights? One person is obviously allowed to reject trespassers from their property. Two people who co-own a piece of land can reject trespassers. Three can.

                In fact, it's not controversial that a large corporation (thousands of people grouped together) can own land and reject trespassers, and they don't even need approval of all of the people. They simply need approval of an elected officer or a board of elected trustees.

                Besides the fact that government is a (natural) rights violating entity, what is so special about it that makes it incapable of asserting gatekeeping rights on the property it owns?

                1. You do realizes you could make this same argument about any right?

                  You have the right to frees speech, so long as it's only done on private property.

                  You have the right to own guns, you just can't take transport them on government property, i.e. roads.

                  You have the right to print those newspaper, you just can't deliver them using roads owned by the government.

                  1. All of which might explain why it was thought necessary to include specific sorts of restrictions upon government within the Constitution.

                    That they didn't think it quite so necessary to equally and particularly restrict border enforcement speaking volumes.

              3. Freedom of association in the US has been seriously curtailed: of you immigrate, I have to do business with you, accommodate you, and pay for your insurance. That means that people need to exercise their freedom of association at the ballot box.

                That is, if I am forced into a national community by the state, then I'm going to exercise my democratic right to determine who I want to invite into that community.

                Taking away both the right to private association and the right to discrimination at the border is unwise, because sooner or later people will rebel against such an oppressive system.

          2. How about the American citizen (and soon to be American citizen)'s right to free associate with their MIL/Grandmonther?

            I believe Americans' liberty to travel to Iran is not affected by the EO.

        2. Your liberty to treat individuals as groups and order them about lest you not be the special one anymore. That liberty.

          You're not free to win until you're free to make the other guy lose. WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE BE AFRAID.

          /both left and right, lol, we're fucking screwed.

          1. This. The pussyfication of Merica was and is an effort of both the left and right.

      2. Show me where American's liberty is being sacrificed please.

        1. I've answered that, though I'm curious why you think only American's have liberty rather than it being something we innately have a right to as human beings?

          1. We all have a right to liberty, but governments get in the way. The great thing about this country is that we are closer to the ideal than most other countries. American citizens have "special" protections because of the Constitution and the amendments to it.

          2. An American government's primary, perhaps sole, concern in setting policy should be the preservation and expansion of American liberty, not the liberty of people living under other regimes. That way lies madness.

            1. Unless of course we want America's militarily to be interventionist.

              Which is it? Stay out of world affairs are go around making sure everybody in the whole world enjoys the freedoms Americans do?

              1. There is a third option: we do whatever is good for the US, even if that destroys liberty outside the US. That's the option we actually take as a nation, foremost progressives.

                Non-intervention is a less harmful compromise. Promoting liberty abroad is not even on the table, except by example and trade.

          3. It is not the job of the US government to protect the liberties of non Americans.

    3. otherwise it's all just pants shitting

      Don't say "pants shitting," It offends Walker's sensibilities.

      1. Trousers-soiling?



        1. Shorts-voiding?

      2. I saw, I like Jesse Walker too. I like most of them actually, including Robby Soave.

        1. I respect Soave for having a sense of humor about things and letting it all roll off his back. I still think he'd fit in better at BuzzFeed than here.

          I have more respect for Walker's writing, but his Muslim Ban article was a huge miss, and his pantywaisted attempts to wade in with the commenters made me lose some respect.

          The one who I've lost the most respect for is Gillespie. The man is so good when confined to expounding on the basics of liberty, especially orally. When he's given a metaphorical pen and told to write about advanced libertarian concepts, it's like taking a peek behind the curtain and finding out that the machine is being held together by rubber bands and chewing gum. As a writer, he's the prototypical "cosmo" (I don't like using that term very often). He starts from a Progressive premise/issue/crisis, and then massages and contorts until he gets to something vaguely libertarian.

          1. I see your point. I don't agree with half or more of the Reason journos/editors(?) on any given subject, but I listen to their view. I like to see all sides of an issue and then form my own opinion. What originally led me to this site was Rand Paul and the NSA metadata collecting. I still don't understand Reason's anti-Rand Paul outlook but the commenters and some of the thoughtful articles kept me coming back. No, that last sentence isn't a euphemism, or is it?

            1. I don't agree with half or more of the Reason journos/editors(?) on any given subject, but I listen to their view. I like to see all sides of an issue and then form my own opinion.

              I started out that way, too. My position has evolved, though. I've come to two conclusions.

              First, I really don't want to waste my time reading articles that are not well thought out, no matter the side. I read ENB, even though I don't agree with her on a lot of issues. I don't read Robby because even when I agree with his take on an issue, I feel like I just wasted 3 minutes of my life.

              Second, I think that there is a kernel of truth to the "cosmo" accusations hurled at Reason. I think there are too many urban social-liberals on staff, and I don't think there is a critical mass of "yokel" thinkers on staff to shine light on some of their intellectual blind spots. It results in a lot of the half-baked shit articles like we saw today on the #MuslimBan. Some days Reason is heavy on the MSM inspired (prog-left) outrage of the day and light on the well-reasoned libertarianism.

              Anyway, I say this not to be confrontational or anything, but just to explain why I don't read certain writers on here anymore. I learn so much more from the comments, so I go straight there.

    4. Yours is probably a wise approach, b-m.

  22. Trump's Travel Ban Says This Iranian Grandmother Is Too Dangerous to Visit Her American Grandchild

    "Trump's Travel Ban Says This Iranian Grandmother Is Being Treated Equally"

  23. To be fair, the TSA already thinks grandmothers are dangerous.

    1. Well, when *I* think of some of the stuff Grandma fed me as a kid ....

  24. Strictly speaking it's saying she's a citizen of a high-risk nation, not that she personally is a risk. If we were at war with Iran using WW2-era tech and dropped a bomb on her house, it wouldn't mean that the US had decided she was a very bad person.

    Iran is a little different from the other countries on the list, insofar as the state seems to be the problem, not the citizens. However, taking a list of countries established by the previous administration was likely a calculated move to trip critics up in charges of hypocrisy or hysteria. That, or lazy and lucky.

  25. I read the Cato link (I know right WTF is wrong with me) and it is written well and makes solid points. I see no commenters addressing that link...most likely because only losers read the articles here and utter psychopaths click through to links.

    1. ^Tulpa

      1. Really? Wow, I totally missed that - my troll-meter is not really refined. Thanks for the heads up.

        This is not sarc, I really did miss this about CB

          1. Anyone know who this guy above me is, or is it also Tulpa?

            1. Hail Rataxes is Tulpaesque but is not Tulpa. Tulpa managed to make a point every now and then, even if they usually weren't good ones.

              1. Tulpa managed to make a point every now and then, even if they usually weren't good ones.

                Tulpa's key style of argumention was to start with a kernel of a point but then cover over it with so much sophistry that nobody could recognize what that kernel was any more.

                1. Or maybe that was Bo...

                  1. What do you know, You don't have a PhD.

                  2. Yeah, not Bo. He never had a good point.

                    It's an old and familiar stalker; many handles, always the same childish anger.

        1. Yup thats me...All Tulpa all the time.

          1. this of course is not to say we aren't all in Epi's head.

            1. Whatever happened to Epi?

      2. WOW...never been accused of that IN TH LAST 10 YEARS I HAVE COMMENTED HERE!

        As evidenced my my clear fawning over supreme leader Tulpa you nailed me.


        1. I was joking, ffs. /no sarcasm

          1. Oh good. So my sarcasm meter is clearly broken.

            1. I thought it was a playful banter routine. Kinda like Crusty and his ugly women fetish. I know there is/was a tulpa around here but I don't know the actual names of those accounts.

          2. Well, FFS, then FINE! BE THAT WAY! GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

            I usually don't fall for that but I guess my super sensitive sarc meter is fubar.

            1. Yes, sir. *walks off lawn after my dog poops on it! (not picking it up, either!!)

    2. I read the articles if it's by an author that I can stand reading. Unfortunately, Boehm isn't on that list anymore. I got as far as the picture and then scrolled to the comments.

    3. Nowrasteh is Cato's Shikha. You shouldn't read his stuff because it's full of dumb shit like

      Materially supporting foreign terrorist organizations, seeking to join a foreign terrorist group overseas, plotting or carrying out terrorist attacks in other countries, and others are also terrorism offenses. I excluded foreign-born people convicted of those offenses because Trump is concerned with "making America safe again," not with making other countries safe or with a global war on terrorism. A terrorist attack in another country doesn't kill Americans inside of the United States and these threats are not what concern American voters nearly as much as terrorism on U.S. soil. You can call this an America First weighting of terrorism offenses.

      1. Yeha but AT LEAST he addressed it. Better than NYT or WaPo.

      2. I don't necessarily agree with Nowrasteh's editorial musings, but he generally writes pretty detailed and evidenced-based articles

        1. This is what I am sayin' ^^^

        2. he generally writes pretty detailed and evidenced-based articles

          This is true. But there's so much sophistry and cherry picking that you need to reread everything 5 times to cut through the bullshit.

          1. I don't want to waste my time thinking "Is it defensible to ignore terrorists operating overseas in the current year? Oh, the data only goes up to 2015. What happened last year? Well, Brussels was operating on that logic, and it's blown up in their face. And the sort of Somalis in the midwest who used to go overseas are doing their half-retarded terrorism with machetes and vans here now. So no, this logic doesn't survive even the slightest introspection."

  26. I'm sure that protesters blocking all access to LAX for everyone else is a surefire way to get Trump to un-sign the EO and win further support for the cause.

    1. Oh, FFS! What *is* with these people and their traffic blocking?

      1. It convinced ME.

      2. Obviously, the way to win hearts and minds is to piss off and inconvenience as many people as possible.

        This is what people actually believe, apparently.

        1. It's certainly what Trumpkins believe.

        2. I can't wait for the day that one of these morons find a protest going on at the end of their driveway.

          1. I can't wait for the day that one of these morons find a protest going on at the end of their driveway.

            I dunno, does stopping their parents from going to work really impact them personally?

            1. Yeah, I thought of that right after I tapped the submit button.

            2. No paycheck, no basement food?

          2. I can't wait for the day that one of these morons find a protest going on at the end of their driveway.

            Preferably on the day the fire trucks show up to extinguish their house.

    2. I'm sure that protesters blocking all access to LAX for everyone else is a surefire way to get Trump to un-sign the EO and win further support for the cause.

      Tell me again who is interfering with the right to travel?

      1. New twist: Those murderous truck drivers of late were just retaliating for previous douchebag protesters, or at least sending a message.

  27. the Montreal shooting now only has one suspect, whose name still hasn't been released, the other guy they arrested is now being called a witness. Witnesses at the scene said there were two gunmen. (on a side note is the Quebec police twitter in French and English? the tweets they have in the article are only in French, isn't that like a hate crime or something?)

    1. I noticed that too, with even the mosque president saying there were two shooters. *Puts on tinfoil hat* It's almost as if having a shooter with an Arab last name goes against the narrative...

      1. We haven't gotten to the one week limit yet ("It always takes a week for the narrative to unravel").

      2. It's pretty strange, though my understanding was that the Mosque president wasn't there for the attack and was merely passing on 2nd hand information.

        1. Ah okay, wasn't aware of that. But still strange indeed.

      1. 1. Bissonnette Has Right-Wing, Pro-Israel, Pro-Trump & Anti-Immigration Beliefs, a Former Classmate Says

        Being Pro-Israel is significant, uh, why?

        1. Gets alt-right off the hook? Indicates (((who))) was behind the attack? "Fuck Israel" is a reflexive proggy battlecry?

          1. Yeah, hard to blame neo-Nazi white supremacists when the shooter is in bed with the (((Mossad))).

        2. A former classmate, you say?

          How long ago was this? Islamist radicalization can happen in a fairly short period of time.

          1. He liked Trump on Facebook, that is all the damning evidence they need. (seriously, that's in article)

    2. Quebec is French-language province, so all the official shit gets done in French. Which I don't have a problem with, since every other province bar one does all its shit in English.

      Federal Government is officially bilingual, but that's for federal matters only.

      1. My only understanding comes from the one good movie Michael Moore ever made. But John Candy made everything better.

        1. "understanding"
          "Michael Moore"

          Yup, I found yer problem here.
          Seriously, his version of Canada is far less accurate than South Park one.

  28. I could write in the exact same tone about how a city thinks a Jesus-worshipping, homeless-feeding widow of a Medal of Honor is too dangerous to drive 26 miles per hour down Main Street, but that doesn't in itself function as a cogent argument against speed limits.

    I'm not unsympathetic to most of the libertarian concerns in this article, I just found the debate tactic irritating.

    1. *** rising intonation ***

      What if she's speeding to see her grandchild?

  29. Would really like to read Reason's take on the executive order regarding cutting regulations. I've already read it, but it's good to have some analysis.

    Scratch that, I just want to read the commentariat's analysis.

    1. How are they gonna pick which two to cut? Cuz if there isn't any mechanism to do so, this is just Trump virtue signaling for his base (whatever that is). Which Reason could report if they weren't so busy pants-shitting over the borders.

      1. I dunno, there's a mechanism to decide whether or not to impose a regulation; certainly that mechanism could be tweaked to figure out which ones are worth rescinding.

  30. Soheil believes that Trump's immigration policy "only fuels the fire of hatred in our nation and in the world."

    Appeasement has worked out just fine for europe.

    Now there needs to be middle ground but you can't be just getting rid of stuff or doing something based on what someone else might do.... or they will just continue to hold you hostage each and every time.

    Why is the official policy not to negotiate with terrorists?!

  31. Using sob stories to justify policy is how you end up with totalitarianism.

    1. Or, at least, shitty policy.

  32. As of last night "they" were reporting that Green Cards were now exempt.

    1. That's what I've heard is that everyone who was originally detained who had a green card has now been released.

  33. Pleeeeaaase! For the chiiilllllldreeeeen!

  34. If you don't pose a threat then they will be allowed into this country please stop lying or repeating stories form people who are to stupid to understand what the president did.

    1. If you don't pose a threat then they will be allowed into this country

      Maybe, but that's not what the E.O. as originally written said. There was no exception for "not a threat" generally.

      1. The EO, taken at face value, was a moratorium while we try to figure out how to determine whether or not they are a threat. Its a question of when the not-a-threats will be let in, not whether. If you take it at face value.

        1. I agree insofar as the E.O. covered the granting of new visas, asylee/refugee status, etc. I disagree insofar as the E.O. also covered existing visa and green-card holders.

  35. The problem is simply about finding the one in a million people in transit that actually want to do terrible harm to Americans. Any system vigorous enough to find the one bad guy or gal is going to impose dramatic hardships on the people that need to be vetted before entering the county. Any system not vigorous enough eventually results in people bleeding to death in the streets.

    Trump's executive order is intended to provide the time needed to impose this vigorous vetting process. And yet, whatever comes out in 90 days is most likely going to fail in more than one way -- imposing hardships on travelers while doing little to identify terrorists.

    But I am completely fucking tired of the bullshit from Reason about sad stories that completely fucking misrepresent the nature of the executive order.

    1. +1 gun grabber

  36. "Trump's Travel Ban Says This Iranian Grandmother Is Too Dangerous to Visit Her American Grandchild"

    Did the EO specifically mention the grandma as well as the motive for the EO? Oh..nope. Just more virtue-signlaing pants shitting rhetoric at Reason. Oh, and an appeal to emotion as the cherry on the shit cake.

    1. Anybody who disagrees with me is virtue-signaling.

      1. Your putting the spot light on virtue signaling, is interfering with my virtue signaling.

    1. That said, I do think this EO was ham fisted at best.

  37. Maybe she should have thought about this when she was choosing where to be born.

    1. Or at least when she decided to have grandchildren!

      1. Technically, she didn't decide to have grandchildren.

      2. As long as abortion is legal there is no excuse for being a grandmother.

    2. When my grandkids go off on their own, the first question I'm asking them is am I going to be able to visit them when President Wild Executive Order is elected.


  38. So I guess the problem with the Trump admin is he doesn't have enough lawyers.

  39. Guys, guys, guys. I have the solution for this grandma. Is she hot?

    1. Is she hot?

      What the hell is with you people and extreme vetting? Can't you just let grandma in sight unseen?

    2. Since she lives in a desert and is forced to wear many, many layers of clothing by her repressive religion, I'm guessing yes, she's hot.

  40. I do not give a shit about inconveniencing grandmothers from countries rife with anti-American and anti-Jewish terror-supporters. Tough titty, granny.

    1. rife with anti-American and anti-Jewish terror-supporters.

      But enough about America's college campuses... what about the countries in Trump's EO?

      1. Sure, but why add to the problem?

        1. There are none as blind as those who cannot see that the state has always done a horrible job of protecting them.

          But, no, the carnival barker is different.....

  41. To understand just how cruel and counterproductive Donald Trump's executive order restricting immigration is, consider the story of Soheil Kolouri.

    [queue Vivaldi's Concerto No. 1]

    ...With his wife expecting their first child in May, Kolouri was making preparations for...

    [record scratch]

    a visit from his mother, Shahin Atlasbaf.

    Did M. Night Shyamlan write this article?

    I mean, you'd think with the large number of immigrants being affected and the proliferation of the internet outside US boarders, it would be dead simple to find someone who had been cut off directly. At least have the cognizance to realize that you're framing the story as "The best thing we know about Shahin Atlasbaf is that her son and grandchild are good American citizens."

  42. I want to defend the president's executive decision to curtail immigration and refugees for the sake of national security. I'm just not sure what a temporary ban is supposed to achieve, other than provoke an already hostile opposition. It would advance their ready made narrative.

    A more stringent vetting process and a reasonable reduction in refugee quota would have been more than enough. A temp ban might have been a reasonable response to a terrorist incident.

    GOP should very quietly demand to Trump to brief them on any new major policy.

    1. I think the gist of the justification is that the vetting process is overwhelmed right now. A brief hold grants them some time to catch up on the backlog and/or spend more time vetting each applicant.

      At least, in theory.

      1. Note that such delays are nothing unusual. Trump just turned it into a dog and pony show and created some controversy in order to appear to be tough on Muslims to make his voters happy.

        Under Clinton, they'd just quietly have shelved visa applications from certain countries for a few months and interviewed and detained much more at airports.

  43. Condensed version of absurdly long anecdote above:

    Grandmother must wait a few months to see new grandchild.

    1. Oh the humanity!

  44. I'm sure he'll slam the ship of state into the dock a few times before he figures it out or staff takes away the keys. Wear a life-jacket and hang on.

  45. Funny how the Left did not care how Obamacare negatively affected me but they care about some Iranian Grandmother.
    Does this comment make any sense?

    Well sort of, even though it is true it has nothing to do with the ruling or the action took. Trumps action was on a COUNTRY which includes it's PEOPLE... if the ruling did not have a negative affect there would be no reason to do it...

    So disagree with his new policy but individual cases have nothing to do with the over all goal... and who says they cannot all meet in France? Have they never heard about the internet? (OH, wait Iran is not a free country so maybe their internet might get blocked....)

  46. If we are to have any government, I would prefer one that upholds only three laws:
    1. Don't physically harm or kill others.
    2. Don't steal other peoples shit, harm or destroy their property or make their property unusable or enjoyable.
    3. Uphold your contracts insomuch as you don't have to violate laws 1 and 2 to do so.

    That said, we don't live in my version of reality, we live in a country with laws, some of which cover all of the above, most of which are completely unnecessary or contradictory to the above mentioned goals. As a country, we have a border and rules that go along with coming into the country. If Trump wants to ban people from terrorist countries, I am not going to pretend that it is a big problem. I really don't plan on visiting fucking Syria anytime soon so I'm not worried. Those seeking asylum have any number of relatively safe countries they can fly to, most of which are actually easier to enter and cheaper to live in than the US, so I am not loosing sleep thinking these refugees have been denied safe haven since they can just as easily go to fucking Canada. Lately, I have been debating the value of having a border and enforcing it. If I had my libertarian utopia, I think I would want to at least keep out those who would try to ruin it. I think it is entirely possible to live within the NAP while also keeping unwanted potentially violent people who will not respect the NAP or the very minimalistic laws of your country out of your country.

    1. As for Trump, he is good and bad for my political wish list. He is good in that he singlehandedly began the destruction of PC culture that would otherwise lead us to more idiotic rules ann absurd codes of speech and conduct. He is working to dismantle the regulations that strangle our rights to freely associate and conduct business. But he is also threatening to put up new rules that erect barriers to international trade, building an already huge military industrial complex (hopefully cheaper than others have done), and potentially implementing economic programs that will lead to more "shovel ready" bullshit. Overall, its a bit of a wash, but my hope is that as a pragmatist with little political experience, Trump will abandon more of the dumb ideas and focus on the ones that bring us a bit closer to smaller, less intrusive government.

    2. I think most people here are agreed on that. The problem is that not everyone else would agree.

      Many people come from cultures that does not celebrate freedom, but celebrates slavery. Either being a slave to a god or holding people of other religions as slave to you

    3. We also have multiple borders - cities, counties, states, reservations, military bases, etc - that impose myriad sorts of restrictions and requirements upon all of us, and often in extremely varied ways.

      Many that are horribly un libertarian. Yet why the sudden freakout over this one?

      The answer is entirely obvious.

      1. There is a libertarian argument for border controls even for a society that is almost purely anarchistic. Unfortunately, the implementation of a border requires some kind of violence for enforcement, so it becomes a matter of where to draw the line.

        If a bunch of people roll up to your border with machine guns and tanks and make it clear they intend to take over your libertarian utopia, then fuck yes, nuke em from orbit ASAP.

        If a few guys show up and we know they are criminals (murderers, thieves etc...) bent on continuing their work here in our wonderland, perhaps just turning them away is a good starting move.

        If you have nefarious terrorists disguised and intermixed with legit refugees, maybe figure out how to suss them out before letting in the hoards of refugees they are hiding in.

        If you don't have a border, you can't ensure that your brand of government is sustained because those who hate it can come in and strive to undermine it. If your brand is uber libertarian super small or no government and their ideals favor strict codes of conduct and they are unsatisfied with simply living by their own codes without forcing others to do the same, or their codes require them to kill those who don't live to their specifications, then it is safe to assume that they cannot function in your society without necessarily breaking the minimal number of rules you have. Keep em out.

  47. "Trump's Travel Ban Says This Iranian Grandmother Is Too Dangerous to Visit Her American Grandchild"

    No, it doesn't.

    It says that he doesn't trust the bureaucracy to safely distinguish between a grandma and a terrorist--so they need time out for review.

    And have you met the bureaucracy? I wouldn't bet our security on that bunch making the right decisions either without going over their procedures.

    1. This is the same bureaucracy that sent renewed visas to the 9/11 hijackers months after 9/11.

  48. Isn't this why the TSA does searches of the elderly and small children? The elderly and young children are dangerous.

    Regardless, this list is based on a bill that Obama signed into law in December 2015?the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act?bipartisan bill passed through Congress.

    Obama restricted visa waivers for those seven Muslim-majority countries ? Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen ? and now, Trump is looking to bar immigration and visitors from the same list of countries. And, it is not a blanket ban on Muslims as there are other Muslim countries not on the ban. The left is being its usual hypocritical self.

    1. The authors at Reason talk a good game about libertarian principles. But they only go to the mattresses when a Venn diagram shows overlap between them and the progressives/leftists.

      Which is not so much a double standard as a single operative standard.

  49. talk about fake outrage reason. It isn't cruel its just stupid/ineffective.

  50. This is a primary reason (pardon the pun) that Libertarians are the laughingstock of American political parties. Open Border will kill a nation as assuredly as terrorists or bombs.

  51. Reason fucking just god damn stop now. Its not a permanent ban, Jesus fucking Christ it sounds as if you guys are going full SJW, shitting your pants, pissing your undies and balling like babies. Unlike you I believe people should be vetted from different countries who host extreme Islamic populations, that, you know, want to fucking kill us and put totalitarian Sharia law above all us i.e. that means no more libertarianism or liberty for that matter. You think this is scare mongering and "hate" but its just a fact. Do your fucking homework please, "immigration at all and any cost" isn't a solution, look over at Europe and tell me how that is fucking working out for them.

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