OPINION: Trump, travel and terrorists

Isaac Martin, Political Contirbutor

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At the end of June, as the high court prepared for its annual summer hiatus, it temporarily upheld President Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban.”

This issue began in January when Trump signed his first travel ban which affected seven nations. The order sought to create a 90-day pause on travel from those countries because they lacked proper vetting. Trump’s executive order upset many on the left, who promptly labeled it a “Muslim ban.” The “ban” and its aftermath created worry among the American-Muslim community in general.

Soon after Trump signed the order, it was thrown out by an appellate court. Undeterred, Trump signed a second travel ban in March. The second ban was tangibly softer than the first, banning six nations instead of seven and removing Christian refugees from a favored status. However, the 9th circuit court of Richmond, VA. stopped the ban on the grounds that Trump was attempting to ban Muslims even though the executive order didn’t exactly do that.

This brings us to the Supreme Court’s actions.

On June 29, because of the short window of time before their summer break, the Justices made a temporary decision. By a 7-2 margin, they agreed to allow the ban for now until oral arguments could be presented during the case in October. Though some may disagree, I believe the high court made the right decision.

Despite the fact that some have condemned the travel ban as a Muslim ban, that is an unfair portrayal.  Forty-four of the world’s 50 Muslim majority nations were not included in this ban. And for good reason, too. Many of these countries, like Turkey, have vetting measures in place for travelers and actively cooperate with the U.S. On the other hand, the six banned nations either don’t have security measures (like Somalia) or don’t cooperate with U.S. officials (like Iran). This is a security issue, not a discrimination issue.

Think about it like this. You live in a rougher neighborhood on the outskirts of Chicago. Every night you go to bed to the serenade of occasional gunfire. As you’re going to bed one night, you hear a knock at the door and a stranger’s voice saying something. You look at your phone – it’s 1am. How likely are you to open the door? Not very, right? That wouldn’t be safe.

Let’s change the scenario slightly. What if, instead of a random stranger, it was your best friend’s voice calling out to you to let her in? Would you do it, especially if you got a text from her saying she was outside right after you hear her voice? You probably would. Why? Because you know the identity of the person trying to enter your home. When the rubber hits the road, that is all that the temporary travel ban is trying to do, let the right people into our country and keep us safe.

This policy doesn’t seek to disenfranchise a certain group of people, it seeks to protect you and me from radical Jihadists.

The ban is only for 90 days on a handful of countries that don’t cooperate with the U.S. or don’t have good security measures. The U.S. is still allowing travelers from Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation. This ban also prevents middle-eastern Christians and others of different religions from traveling to the U.S. All these are reasons why we as a people ought to think of this ban as a door of protection rather than a wall of discrimination.