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In-depth look at Trump’s Travel Ban

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On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a document that suspends Syrian refugees and limits other refugees into the United States by instituting what the President has called “extreme vetting” of immigrants. Supposedly, this order will help protect the United States from terrorist attacks. The countries impacted are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

“I think that the ban makes traveling a lot more complicated but at the same time it provides a form of protection from those who are trying to cause harm in the United States,” Gavin Carson, 10, says.

The order suspends all persons from certain “terror-prone” countries from entering the United States for 90 days and suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until it is reinstated. People may not be able to go back home, or come visit their own families for a while.

“I am establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” Trump said during the signing at the Pentagon after the swearing-in of Defense Secretary James Mattis. “We don’t want them here.” President Donald Trump says.

Not everyone thinks this is a good idea though, such as sophomore, Brooke Watkins.

“I think that the refugee ban is discrimination against immigrants at its finest. The way Trump thinks is just sending the progress of the countries equality back like 50 years. Everyone in the United States is an immigrant, so him trying to ban immigrants because of their religion or where they’re from is idiotic.” Watkins says.
I have the tendency to agree with this statement. Although Trump only has good intentions and is just doing this to keep us citizens safe, I don’t think he is approaching the situation in the best way he possibly could. Banning everyone for the actions of a few does not seem fair to me. This ban makes ordinary Muslim people, feel like terrorist when they have done nothing. In fact, there are more American citizens that kill their own people, rather than terrorist from other countries. So I think we need to focus on different problems inside our own borders.

 

Countries affected: Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen

Passages from the order:

Section 5, Subsection b- “…to prioritize 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.” All the countries on the list are Muslim majority nations. In addition, during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, President Trump said that Christians would be given priority when applying for refugee status.

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Section 5, subsection d-“I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.”

President Obama set the refugee gap at 110,000, while President Trump cut the number to 50,000. This section suspends all Syrian refugee resettlement for an undisclosed period of time.

This is the law that Trump uses to justify the order:

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952-“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

This is the law that critics use to argue against the order’s constitutionality:

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965- “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.”

Section 3, Subsection c-“aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order.”

The Obama administration previously selected the seven countries referred to in the executive order as exceptions to the visa waiver program. The visa waiver program allows citizens from specific countries to spend up to 90 days in the U.S. without a visa.

This legislation excludes travelers from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen from the visa waiver program. President Trump’s order also prohibits immigrants and nonimmigrants from travelling to the U.S. for 90 days.  

Section 5, subsection a-“The Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and… with Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures.”

Refugees undergo screening by several federal and international agencies. It can take as long as two years for refugee applicants to be accepted to the United States’ resettlement program. In addition, the USRAP is suspended for 120 days.

USRAP-United States Refugee Admissions Program

Section 1-“In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.  The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.  In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

According to the Refugee Processing Center, 48% of the 15,479 refugees admitted to the U.S. in 2016 were children under 14.

According to the Cato Institute in September 2016,  the probability that an American would be killed by a refugee in a terrorist attack was 1 in 3.64 billion a year.

Section 1- “While the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.”

The executive order mentions the September 11 attacks three times. However, none of the 9/11 hijackers came from any of the countries affected by the executive order, according to the CIA.

Legal Grounds:

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952-“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965- “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.”

Fast Facts:

Trump’s executive order cites the 9/11 attacks three times. But none of the 9/11 hijackers came from any of the seven countries that fall under Trump’s 90-day travel ban. Fifteen were from Saudi Arabia; two were from the United Arab Emirates; one was from Egypt, and one was from Lebanon, according to the CIA.

 

Only 20 refugees were among the 154 foreign-born terrorists identified in the Cato report, and three of them were responsible for one terrorist death each. (See Table A1 of the report.)

 

Cato Institute, Sept. 13, 2016: The chance that an American would be killed in a terrorist attack committed by a refugee was 1 in 3.64 billion a year.

 

In 2016, 15,479 Syrian refugees arrived in the U.S., and they were settled in 237 towns and cities in 41 states, according to data we obtained from the Refugee Processing Center. Of these Syrian refugees, 48 percent were children under the age of 14.

 

Conservative Point of View:

As proven by the Nationality Act of 1952, the president has the power to exclude aliens that he believes pose a threat to the safety and well-being of Americans. With this act, Congress gives the president power to restrict immigration from any country he deems necessary. There is nothing in the Constitution that expressly allows immigrants and nonimmigrants to settle or travel in the United States. Trump’s executive order is not a ban on Muslims. The order freezes the admission of immigrants, travelers, and refugees from seven specific countries. The order doesn’t restrict travel from all Muslim nations, just the seven nations on the list. This ban is temporary, and until certain procedures for the admission of immigrants and refugees are reviewed, it’s better to minimize the risk to Americans. In addition, the seven countries on the list are all either hostile towards the U.S. and our interests or have failed governments that make it difficult to gather information on the refugees and immigrants trying to travel to the U.S.. Conservatives have said that these travel restrictions give the government the opportunity to gather all necessary information to keep Americans safe and improve the system.  

https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2017/01/trump-immigration-executive-order-fact-fiction

 

Liberal Point of View:

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion. All seven countries on the list are Muslim majority nations, and President Trump even said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network that he favors the admission of Christian refugees into the U.S. over immigrants of other faiths.  In addition, the Nationality Act of 1965 prohibits discrimination against people who seek visas based on “the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence”. Our nation has always been accepting and tolerant of other cultures and nationalities. The United States has traditionally been an ally of the refugee fleeing oppression and violence. A poem on the Statue of Liberty reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Should we revise that to, “Only the people who look like us or believe like we do”?

 

Update:

On Friday, February 3, a Washington state federal judge issued a stay of President Trump’s immigration order. The judge, James Robart, is a Republican who was confirmed as a federal judge by the Bush administration. This means that the executive order is no longer in effect at this time. The Trump administration has taken action to appeal the federal judge’s ruling.

Sources

Factcheck.org

President Trump’s executive order

http://www.npr.org/2017/01/31/512439121/trumps-executive-order-on-immigration-annotated

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-administration-files-appeal-washington-judges-travel-ban/story?id=45274114

http://www.factcheck.org/2017/02/facts-on-trumps-immigration-order/

http://www.npr.org/2017/01/31/512439121/trumps-executive-order-on-immigration-annotated

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The official student news site of Circle High School
In-depth look at Trump’s Travel Ban