In Wake of Orlando Shooting, Paul Ryan Pushes Business Deregulation; Says U.S. Can’t Pause Muslim Migration

Pete Marovich/Getty Images
Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Following the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, House Speaker Paul Ryan will hold a press conference on the need to reduce regulatory burdens for job creators.

On Tuesday, members of the House Republican Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens will be “unveiling” their plan “aimed at making it easier to work, invest, produce, and build things in America,” according to a media advisory issued by the Speaker’s office. This is the latest phase of the rollout for Ryan’s “A Better Way, a bold agenda to tackle some of our country’s biggest challenges.”

Ryan has made clear that his “bold” agenda does not include temporarily pausing Muslim migration into the United States. Ryan has repeatedly opposed pausing Muslim migration insisting, “that’s not who we are.” On Sunday, Ryan told CBS that he “obviously” continues to oppose Donald Trump’s call for a pause on Muslim migration. Ryan said:

I obviously don’t support the Muslim ban, I do not think we should have a religious test on people who come into this country… because I believe in the First Amendment, I believe in religious freedom, I believe in religious liberty.

Ryan did not explain how he interprets our first amendment protections to extend beyond U.S. citizens to cover foreign would-be migrants all around the globe. As Sen. Sessions has explained, such an unprecedented extension of first amendment protections would essentially dissolve U.S. sovereignty by creating a global right to migrate:

There are 7 billion people in the world. Choosing who can immigrate into the United States is, by definition, an exclusionary process. The goal is to select immigrants for admission based on the benefits they provide to society… In the United States, we have protections against discrimination by religion, age, disability, country of origin, etc. We have freedom of association. Rights of due process. Now imagine extending these as part of our immigration system. The logical extension of this concept results in a legal regime in which the United States cannot deny an alien admission to the United States based upon age, health, skill, family criminal history, country of origin, and so forth… If we say it is improper to consider religion, then that means it is improper for a consular official to even ask about a candidate’s religious beliefs when trying to screen an applicant for entry. It would mean that even asking questions of a fiancé seeking a visa about his or her views on any religious matter – say on the idea of pluralism vs. religious supremacy – would be improper, because if it is improper to favor or disfavor a religion, it is improper to favor or disfavor any interpretation of a religion… Are we really prepared to disallow, in the consideration of tens of millions of applications for entry to the United States, any questions about religious views and attitudes? A U.S.-born citizen who subscribes to theocratic Islam has a freedom of speech that allows him to give a sermon denouncing the U.S. constitution or demanding it be changed. But… [by extending these protections to foreign nationals] a foreign religious leader living overseas could demand a tourist visa to deliver that same sermon and claim religious discrimination if it is not approved.

In the aftermath of the Orlando attack, Ryan– who has a two-decade long history of pushing open borders immigration policies– released a statement in which he insisted that terrorism “respects no borders”:

As we heal, we need to be clear-eyed about who did this. We are a nation at war with Islamist terrorists. Theirs is a repressive, hateful ideology that respects no borders. It is a threat to our people at home and abroad. Our security depends on our refusal to back down in the face of terror. We never will.

Though Ryan is relying on the same sophistry as President Obama by insisting there cannot be a “religious test,” it would seem impossible to construct a screening process for migrants that tries to rank their security threat without considering religion.

In other words, while both a Sharia-supporting migrant from Afghanistan and a French pastry chef may have no direct ties to any terrorist organization, the recent history of terrorism inside the U.S. would suggest that it’s far more likely the Sharia-supporting Afghani would either become involved in terrorism or raise a child who becomes involved in terrorism, than would the Frenchman who spends his days making éclairs.

Moreover, by excluding religion, Ryan discounts that there can be any quality of life test for Americans. This draws a sharp contrast with Donald Trump, who frames the debate as a quality of life issue and has specifically said that we should not bring in people who are hostile to our values. During his Monday national security speech, Trump said that the U.S. must “develop a responsible immigration policy that serves the interests and values of America,” noting that “many of the principles of Radical Islam are incompatible with Western values and institutions.”

If Ryan is excluding religious beliefs from consideration, then Ryan is saying that America, as a society, has no right to say it would rather give a green card and U.S. citizenship to the French pastry chef than to a pro-Sharia fundamentalist from Afghanistan.

However, while Ryan believes America should not make decisions about who we choose as our neighbors, classmates, and colleagues, he does not apply that same openness in choosing where to educates his children. Ryan seems to believe that they would be best served by spending time in a Catholic institution with other Catholic children rather than, say, sending his children to a madrasa, of which there will be many more under Ryan’s immigration policies.

Moreover, the mission statement of Ryan’s Task Force on Reducing Regulatory Burdens pledges to “make it easier to invest, produce and build in America with a modern and transparent regulatory system that relieves the burden on small businesses and other job creators…”

The mission statement does not make clear how many regulations the U.S. will have to eliminate in order to make products as cheaply in the United States as they are made in third world countries, which have virtually no regulations on labor and pay their workers pennies a day.

Ironically, every single member of Ryan’s task force– Mike Conaway (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Rob Bishop (R-UT),  Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Bill Shuster (R-PA)– all voted to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would force American workers to compete with laborers in third world countries.


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