Fact Check: Joe Biden Promises to Repeal Non-existent ‘Muslim Ban’

Joe Biden (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)
Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

CLAIM: President Donald Trump ordered a “Muslim ban” — one that Joe Biden will repeal if he is elected president.

VERDICT: FALSE. There is no such “Muslim ban,” and there never was. Trump’s travel ban is legal and constitutional.

Former Vice President Joe Biden promised Muslim voters at an event called “Million Muslim Votes” on Monday that he would repeal President Trump’s “Muslim ban” on his first day in office, adding that Trump’s “Muslim Ban” was “vile.”

But there is no “Muslim ban,” and there never was. What Democrats called a “Muslim ban” was an executive order issued on January 27, 2017, that barred tourism and immigration from seven countries previously identified by the Obama-Biden administration as being particularly vulnerable to terrorism, partly because their internal record-keeping was substandard. These seven nations — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen — happened to be Muslim-majority countries, but there was no blanket ban on Muslims from other Middle Eastern countries or large Muslim countries like Indonesia.

Later, the executive order was updated, or superseded, by subsequent orders. A second version dropped Iraq from the list; a third version added North Korea and Venezuela, two countries without substantial Muslim populations whatsoever. The Supreme Court tossed legal challenges to the travel ban in October 2017. Several more countries — including non-Muslim ones — were added in January 2020. The “Muslim ban” exists only in the minds of Democrats and left-wing journalists.

In December 2015, then-candidate Trump did suggest “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” He made that suggestion after radical Islamic terrorists launched brutal terror attacks in Paris, France, that November — with at least one hiding among Syrian refugees.

Trump later dropped that idea. But it is important to note that even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) considered a “pause” in Syrian refugees, given the security vulnerabilities and the possibility that fighters from the so-called “Islamic State” might infiltrate into the country.

So Biden is promising to repeal a “Muslim ban” that does not exist, and that never did. It is a false promise based on a lie — which Biden appeared to be reading from a TelePrompTer, badly.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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