Donald Trump has only been in office a short while (three weeks to be exact), but he has been, and is, making waves in his push for anti-immigration laws. The most significant aspects of this are, of course, Trump’s travel ban and the subsequent freeze the courts have placed on it with a unanimous 3-0 ruling (1), rendering it useless for the time being. And while the court’s decision to put a stop on the travel ban can be brought to an appeals court and overturned, the ban itself is only in effect for 120 days for refugees and 90 days for visitors from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. Of course, this whole ordeal, Trump’s anti-immigration push, the travel ban, and the court ruling (and reactions to it), raises some serious concerns.
Firstly, this is not a travel ban, it is a Muslim ban. Trump specifically chose countries that have a high population of Muslims because of the Islamophobia and xenophobia belonging to both him and the people who voted for him. Frankly, this is idiotic, unpatriotic, and (at least) arguably unconstitutional. People (including Donald Trump himself), who know virtually nothing of those they are discriminating against, are just assuming that Muslim equals terrorist. It does not; they are not the same thing and to assume otherwise is ridiculous. One of the reasons why this, and the ban on these countries, is idiotic is because from 1975 to 2015, not a single person from those countries has killed any American on American soil and only 17 people from all seven of those countries have ever been convicted of planning or attempting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil (2).
The people who support this ban would rather pander to their base and unfounded fears. They want to place the blame on an entire group of people and then pat themselves on the back, saying they did something good, rather than actually address the problem and make genuine attempts to stop it. Not to mention how the whole idea of this (Muslim) ban is to protect America and American values, yet we are doing the exact opposite of what America is, traditionally, supposed to stand for. Namely, America is a place where anyone can come and be themselves, and it is a land where you’re supposed to be free to be who you are, free of religious persecution. That was the whole idea of this country to begin with. But apparently, that only applies if you’re not Muslim (or not African American, or not Latino, or not Jewish, or not gay, and so on. You get the point). I fail to see how we are “protecting America and American values” by banning refugees and immigrants from the country. Frankly, if there was ever a time for America to ban immigrants, it would have been back when all of those White Europeans came over and wiped out the Native Americans. But as that didn’t happen, I feel the need to point out that we are a country of immigrants.