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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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Immigration executive order is un-American


On Friday, Jan. 27, President Trump signed a far-reaching executive order on immigration.

This order bans immigration from seven Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for 90 days, suspends all refugee admission for 120 days and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely.

This ban that originally included people on any U.S. visa category (such as green-card holders) has since been revised to apply to people who, regardless of status, seem suspicious. What doesn’t seem to make sense is why these countries were selected. President Trump has claimed national security and preventing terrorism as the motive behind the executive order.

However, no one has been killed in the U.S. by anyone from these countries. If anything, these actions propagate Islamophobia and hatred, and further the cause of terrorists who use these type of instances to justify their behavior.

While this is the most obvious part of the ban, there are other important takeaways from the order. The order says, “The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion,” implying that this ban has the potential to extend far beyond just the current seven countries. However, in some ways, it already does because no refugees from any country are allowed for 120 days.

Another alarming section of the order gives priority to non-Muslim refugees. The order declares prioritization for “refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”

For all who refuse to admit it, this is a Muslim ban. Even though President Trump says it isn’t, that doesn’t mean his actions do not have that exact consequence.

This is obviously religion-based discrimination because all the countries included in this ban are Muslim countries. Therefore, people of minority faiths in these countries, such as Christians, will be allowed entry into the U.S.

The impacts of this ban have been widely seen this weekend, as people were detained at airports across the U.S. About 375 were impacted, in the form of being denied entry into the U.S., or stopped from boarding flights to the U.S. Large amounts of people also showed up to airports to display their support for the detained individuals.

Countries that have been included in the ban, such as Iran, have expressed how offended they are by President Trump’s actions. Since this order has been implemented, the American Civil Liberties Union has sustained a federal court order that grants an emergency stay for the people who have already made it to the U.S., or are in transit.

Besides the fact that the countries chosen don’t pose a threat to the U.S., this ban sends a very clear message to people everywhere. Following the rules, and even respecting the U.S. Constitution, does not mean you will be treated fairly. There are countless amounts of people who have waited their turn and respected the immigration process, and yet are still being denied entry into the U.S.

Whether or not you follow the rules, you still get punished.

Everything about this ban screams “un-American.” Diversity is what makes this country such a great place to live. Blocking an entire region of the world in the name of “national security” is not an effective way to stop terrorism, and instead it inhibits diversity.  

For the individuals that think people aren’t justified in being terrified for their well-being under Trump’s administration, you’re wrong.

People have every reason to feel worried or scared for all the uncertainty that is going to follow them. If this is any indication of what the next four years are going to be, people have every right to feel upset. Regardless, we need to continue to be vigilant and stand up for our rights and the rights of the people around us.

Fariha Jawed is an accounting and political science junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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