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President Trump’s Ban on Immigration

President Trump’s Ban on Immigration

Protesters gathered all across the country this week to protest President Trump's new executive order on refugee access to the U.S.
President Donald Trump’s first two weeks in office were filled with many important decisions. The first couple days were consumed by the buzz around the inauguration, the historic protest marches that followed, and the backlash over the Trump administration’s use of “alternative facts.” But perhaps the most publicized action so far was his signing of an executive order suspending the entry of refugees and citizens of several Muslim-majority countries into the United States.  The ban effected refugees from Syria who were barred indefinitely while refugees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were restricted for 120 days.  Other people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen are banned for 90 days, which initially included some green card-holding lawful permanent residents, but this issue was resolved. Students, workers, and business travelers with temporary visas as well as those newly arriving on immigrant visas are among the many individuals being detained at airports in the United States and abroad. Several have even been sent back to their home countries.  One example was Fuad Sharef, his wife and his three children who were detained at Cairo airport on Saturday and forced to board a flight back to Iraq. The family of five, who had sold their home, quit their jobs, and waited for over two years to obtain Special Immigrant visas, returned heartbroken to the city of Erbil. The Special Immigrant Visa Program for which Sharef qualified was designed for Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. Government. Sharef, who had worked for a USAID-funded organization, says that he is “totally broken” and “ruined now.” Now out $5,000 and without their passports that were confiscated at the airport, the Sharefs’ dreams of escaping the deteriorating conditions of Iraq have effectively been crushed. This family is just one example of the estimated 90,000 people who will be affected by President Trump’s actions on immigration.  The reactions to the immigration ban and stories like Sharef’s have been widespread. Both supporters and opponents of the ban are not hesitating to voice their opinions. World leaders have expressed their thoughts on the issue and many social media movements have spawned from its creation. Leaders of several of the countries from which Trump has banned immigrants from have called the executive order “insulting” and “divisive.” One Saudi Arabian state-run news agency called out the U.S. for its double standards on terrorism. Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau took a more positive approach, tweeting that Canada would embrace and welcome refugees fleeing war-torn countries. Large companies have also taken stances on this issue. Starbucks released a statement on Sunday that it planned to hire 10,000 refugees and Google recently donated millions towards refugee causes. Even the speeches at the 2017 SAG Film awards were all permeated in one way or another by references to this extreme political controversy.   For the most part, the justice system has also seemed to oppose this executive order. A federal court ruled in favor of a habeas corpus petition filed by the ACLU by issuing an emergency stay halting further deportation of immigrants who are currently detained.  On Friday, yet another district court made a ruling to halt the enforcement, but the DOJ appealed to overturn this order the next day.  Amid the uproar and nationwide protests, many continue to praise President Trump for his swift actions on immigration reform. Supporters of the immigration ban believe that he is keeping our country safe and maintaining the rule of law during an era in which radical Islamic terrorism poses an even greater threat to the world. The Trump administration insists that the ban is not an attack on Muslims, but rather a maneuver which will allow the government to better evaluate the people allowed into our country and to maintain security. Europe’s far-right also agrees with this sentiment, as many politicians are dissatisfied with the high volumes of immigrants from Muslim countries entering their communities and struggling to assimilate culturally.  While refugee immigration has not been a consistent problem for the United States, one of the factors that influenced Trump’s executive order is the refugee crisis in European countries such as Germany. President Trump, who has referred to Germany’s open-door refugee policy as “utterly catastrophic,” is obviously taking a different approach to avoid their massive influx of immigrants and tens of billions of government funds spent on supporting and accommodating the asylum seekers. Another cause for concern are the 200,000 crimes that were committed in Germany by refugees alone from 2014-2015. This clearly conflicts with Trump’s image of a safer America and the reestablishment of “law and order” in our society.  Concrete positive effects of the ban are obviously yet to be observed, but many Trump voters are already satisfied with his execution of this order within his first 100 days, one of the promises upon which he built his campaign from early on. Yet with an unusually low approval rating and ongoing conflict surrounding the legality of the order within the justice system, the Trump administration will have some significant obstacles to overcome in these next few weeks.  Sources: New York Times, US News, NPR, LA Times, ABC News, Travel State, Washington Post, CNN, USA Today, Time, RT, The Guardian, Express, UPI Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/taedc/32672067316

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