A full-blown media circus has ensued since Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the country, but would it be the first time Muslims have been deemed “persona non grata” in America?
Turns out, former President Jimmy Carter banned Iranians from entering the United States during the Iranian hostage crisis, according to FrontPage Magazine.
Following President Obama’s Oval Office address on terrorism this week, Trump issues a statement calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
An idea that’s not all that different from the actions of the 39th president of the United States.
“[T]he Secretary of Treasury [State] and the Attorney General will invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today,” Carter said in April 1980. “We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly.”
Not only that, Carter said Iranian officials in the country were no longer welcome.
“All Iranian diplomatic and consular officials have been declared persona non grata and must leave this country by midnight tomorrow,” he declared.
And Carter didn’t stop there. In a move that would send today’s Obama supported DREAMers into a tizzy, he moved to deport Iranian students.
According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics:
“Carter orders 50,000 Iranian students in US to report to immigration office with view to deporting those in violation of their visas. On 27 December 1979, US appeals court allows deportation of Iranian students found in violation.”
Carter invoked the Nationality Act of 1952 — a law designed to restrict Communist immigration to the U.S. — to force Iranians entering the country to undergo secondary screening, according to FrontPage Magazine’s Daniel Greenfield.
The American press went into meltdown mode as soon as Trump uttered his proposal, but in light of Carter’s actions is the media blowing things out of proportion?
The difference being that Carter targeted people by nationality and Trump does so by ideology, Greenfield noted.
“Now unlike Muslims, Iranians were not necessarily supportive of Islamic terrorism,” he wrote. “Many were and are opponents of it. [Ayatollah] Khomeini didn’t represent Iran as a country, but his Islamist allies.”
Perhaps, as Greenfield stated, folks, including those on the right, can “calm down now long enough to have a rational conversation on the subject.”
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