On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order banning citizens from seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia), with valid visas and refugee status, from entering the United States for the next 90. All refugees from Syria have been banned indefinitely.
This ban followed by a week of other controversial moves made by President Trump has been protested by thousands of people throughout the US and around the world.
Those who were traveling to the US were barred from entering and were detained at airports. Many families of citizens from the banned countries waited anxiously as they heard the news of the ban. According to TIME Magazine, Ali Baker, who is a US citizen from Baghdad, was expecting the arrival of his fiance when he heard the news of the ban. He waited for more than twelve hours, arguing with border patrol agents and JFK airport authorities when he was finally able to speak to a supervisor who answered him, “We’re just following orders.”
After being detained for more than 24 hours Ali’s fiance was released from JFK.
Since the executive order has taken place chaos erupted across the US as airport officials and airlines scrambled to adjust to the new US policies.
Many protesters showed up at airports to protest for those who had been detained. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and other groups filed lawsuits challenging the Trump’s executive order. The Executive Director of the ACLU, Anthony Romero, released a statement over the actions the organization took since the ban was announced. “The ACLU with other organizations immediately sprang into action and challenged Trump’s executive order in court as violating the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.”
The ACLU was able to receive a hearing and at around 9 p.m. on Saturday, Federal District Judge Ann M. Donnelly blocked part of President Trump’s ban, which prevented the deportation of refugees and immigrants who’ve been detained at US airports.
This ban creates a xenophobic environment, and only promotes the discrimination of religions and those of Middle Eastern background. This ban denies the rights of those who’ve suffered for months and years in war-torn countries and have been oppressed by those in power. According to POLITICO, there has not been a single terrorism-related death caused by foreign operatives coming to the country since 9/11. Nor has any immigrant from the countries that are banned from the US been a part of any terrorist attack in the US ever.
To alienate all immigrants from the Middle East is an absurd accusation. POLITICO also revealed that statistics that are available have shown that first generation immigrants, as a group, have committed crimes at lower rate than those who are native born. What’s more troubling is that more than a third of terrorist deaths are caused by native-born right wingers than jihadists. The Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security Study report released notes that only one-third of one percent of all murders in the U.S. were attributable to terrorist violence by Muslim Americans.
Unfortunately it looks like the Trump administration will keep fighting to keep this ban. However, to divide the nation over immigration and whether or not refugees have the right to enter the country will only promote the ideas of xenophobia and isolationism. Americans need to speak up, whether or not they agree with the refugees religious/political background. To stand by and watch as another powerful nation refuses the human rights of refugees shouldn’t be tolerated by a nation that claims to be free.