By Stephen Miller
President Trump's new executive order banning travel and refugees is just as destructive in California’s 45th congressional district as his original ban.
The order still bans all refugees from everywhere in the world. It still bans travel to the United States by the overseas family members of many thousands of our friends and neighbors, and the employees of many of our top businesses. Irvine alone is home to an estimated 7,000 residents born in Iran, and many thousands more with family from the countries targeted by the ban.
But the order does more than ban refugees from everywhere, and travel from six countries; it puts a chill on business and tourism with people from everywhere in the world with the message it sends. This larger effect has a direct economic impact on our globally oriented tourism, technology and biosciences industries as well as our world-class university at University of California, Irvine.
Orange County welcomes 42 million visitors annually who spend $7.75 billion and support 160,000 local tourism jobs, and international flight searches and bookings are experiencing a sharp decline that travel guide publisher Frommer’s refers to as the “Trump Slump.” Major employers in the California 45th District such as Allergan and Google have said the order negatively affects their business. The order also prevents talented students, scholars and researchers from attending and visiting UC Irvine.
While this order is purported to be temporary, the chill it puts on our globally oriented economy will not disappear quickly. Ominously, it also requires a “worldwide review” of entry procedures from all countries, contemplating within 70 days that entry from countries that do not agree to new information requirements could also be banned, perhaps indefinitely.
Stephen Miller is a lawyer and entrepreneur who lives in Irvine, Calif. After a lifetime as a College Republican leader, Republican Central Committee member, and frequent Republican volunteer, contributor and voter, he left the party in 2016 over the rise of Donald Trump.