President Trump has been meeting opposition consistently with his Executive Order regarding the issuance of visas for individuals from selected nations. This has been rebranded as a “travel ban”, and a number of courts have blocked its enforcement.
One of the recent decisions came from the 9th Circuit this month putting a freeze on the EO. The irony of this is as the hysterical accusations fly the state of California not only has an actual travel ban, it has expanded it scope this week. Government officials from the Golden State announced they would be adding states to a list of existing destinations deemed off-limits for official state business travel. The reasons for this are laws passed elsewhere that CA politicians have ruled as discriminatory or interpreted as being in violation of human rights.
Kansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and North Carolina were the original forbidden destinations. This week California Attorney General Xavier Becerra declared that velvet ropes would also be stretched across the borders of Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Texas due to additional perceived legislative insurrections.
“Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights,” Becerra said in a statement. “Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation, even in the 21st Century.”
Much of the time these laws he finds objectionable actually protect rights, mostly preserving religious freedoms for individuals or groups. These are often in conflict with leftist groups or causes, but more revealing is these bans have been placed not over rights abuses but over hyperventilating supposition. As he says “We will not spend taxpayer dollars in states that discriminate,” Becerra displays a tendency to deliver a punishment over actions not taken.
In Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law for religious protection of child service agencies. What rankled California legislators is they interpret this to mean adoption agencies may deny services to gay families. Other laws protecting religious expression in schools found “that LGBT advocates argue could allow clubs to shun prospective members based on their gender identity.” All this posturing and restricting comes down to things that “may” and/or “could” occur.
Of course it is of little surprise contradictions and problems arise. The state of illegal sanctuary cities issues its own travel ban over states passing legal provisions, and within their own borders. It is wrong for the President to work at stopping illegal travel of potentially harmful enemies, but California works to punish American citizens for following the Constitution. What is also interesting is how difficult it appears for the politicians to remain consistent on this issue.
While issuing blockages to states with laws California legislators don’t like, Governor Jerry Brown at times appears perfectly comfortable travelling with disregard to human rights. While the eight states on the banned list have nothing on the books approaching the institutionalized abuses within Saudi Arabia, Jerry Brown was fine to fly to Europe and meet with the oil minister of that nation. This recalls the time New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo talked of a similar ban for travel from his state to those with supposed human rights issues — before getting on a plane to meet with Raul Castro in Cuba.
The amazing aspect of these travel bans is that while so much absolutism gets mentioned there seems a tremendous amount of fluidity to their enforcement.