Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) December 8, 2015
As is the custom when it is time for a Republican to start rebuilding his image, Governor Pence was recently "Hannitized" [Palin to be Hannitized, by Dave Weigel, Slate, January 13, 2011]. He appeared on the Sean Hannity show to show his recently discovered support for Trump's ban on immigration.
"I am very supportive of Donald Trump's call to temporarily suspend immigration from countries where terrorist influence and impact represents a threat to the United States," Pence said.Pence also stated he supported Trump's call for The Wall and said "absolutely" Mexico is going to pay for it.
[Gov Pence: I'm 'very supportive' of Trump immigration ban, by Jordan Fischer, RTV 6, July 16, 2016]
It's worth noting the goalposts have already been moved on the "Muslim immigration ban." Initially, Trump's call was for a ban for all Muslim immigration (temporarily of course.) Now, it is simply to suspend immigration from countries where "terrorist influence and impact represents a threat."
Of course, this was probably inevitable as Trump "pivots" to the general election and the more disciplined Paul Manafort takes over the campaign. Obviously, this is much easier to actually implement. Some caterwauling aside, no one seriously disputes the President of the United States could actually ban immigration from certain nations. A President Trump could simply impose a flat ban on immigration from Muslim countries the day he steps in office. (Hopefully, he'll start with Saudi Arabia.) And this would be a good thing.
But it's not enough. And there's a certain incoherence to basing a policy on geography. The problem is that we don't face a terrorist threat from certain countries, but a certain group of people. A Muslim ban based on countries makes the same kind of mistake we see from reporters who identify a Muslim terrorist born in Europe as a "Belgian" or a "Frenchman." The threat goes beyond geography. It's a question of ethnicity and identity. And if these attacks continue to occur, as they surely will, President Trump will be forced to recognize that.
It's good Mike Pence is bending the knee on this and other issues. But he needs to go farther. As does Donald Trump himself if he wants to keep the voters who rallied to him because of his message of America First.