Political Focus: Trump’s executive order on immigration
February 7, 2017
Filed under Opinion
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On his seventh day in office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that has spurred uproar across the country. The executive order prevents citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days and prevents all Syrian refugees from entering the country for at least 120 days.
The order is in alignment with his campaign promise to toughen the security of our country from certain nations and make it harder for foreign terrorists to gain access to American soil. However, this week, Political Focus will examine the facts of this executive order and the controversy that surrounds it.
What are the facts of the order?
The order affects seven countries directly: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Citizens of these countries have been banned from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days.
The wording of the executive order specifically names immigrants and nonimmigrants, therefore affecting essentially all foreign travel to the U.S. from those countries. An immigrant is someone with a green card, or a permanent resident of the U.S. and a nonimmigrant is someone who has obtained a visa.
The White House has stated, after seeing some resistance from other departments of the executive branch, that those with green cards and visas will be admitted on a case-by-case basis, leaving the matter up to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security.
Additionally, the order bans entry to the U.S. for any refugee awaiting resettlement for 120 days. All Syrian refugees are banned until “such time as I [Trump] have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,” the order states.
Unethical, discriminatory and just bad foreign policy
The order was met with many angry protesters and much disagreement.
It has already proved to be a strong inconvenience on those traveling to the U.S. legally. Immigrants have been detained at airports while they await clearance or are sent back to their countries of origin after being denied admittance.
If someone holds a visa or a green card, they have already completed a thorough vetting and screening process. Many see it as unfair to add these additional inconveniences, which have even resulted in the revoking of more than 100,000 visas already.
Those in opposition to the ban see the order as discriminatory because of the large effect it has on Muslims, saying Trump is singling out immigrants based on faith and religion.
Other protesters argue that the executive order is an unethical response to the humanitarian crisis the world faces in response to fighting in the Middle East. A dangerous civil war still rages on in Syria, and innocent and peaceful citizens are desperately seeking refuge in different countries.
Politicians from the left have released statements and taken to Twitter to dismiss the order as a bad foreign policy move. Senator Bernie Sanders has called the ban “un-American” and “unconstitutional,” saying it “will not make us more safe.”
Additionally, leaders from other countries have advised that this will strain important diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Muslim countries. For example, Iran immediately responded to the ban, saying it would take “reciprocal measures” in a statement by its Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The response to the uproar
Many people have responded in protest, saying the executive order targets Muslims. It directly names seven Muslim-majority nations and is in alignment with Trump’s campaign trail call for a total and complete ban on all Muslims coming to the U.S.
However, the Trump administration cites other rationale for choosing those seven countries, even noting that these seven countries were originally decided upon by the Obama administration.
The countries were put on this list namely because government officials have said “ongoing terrorist training takes place there,” according to PolitiFact.
As The Atlantic notes, these states are not the most populous Muslim countries, nor are they among the top sources of Muslim immigration to the U.S.
Trump defended the order against attacks from those calling it a “Muslim ban.”
“This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” Trump said. “There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.”