To begin with, I’d like to share an article that my fellow Odyssey creator and editor, Gina Kelley, recently wrote about why we shouldn't forget Syrian refugees, and how important this topic is for the humanity of the world. The Syrian refugees are not just a vague idea of a person. They are real people living a life you couldn’t even dream of.
President Trump signed an executive order named Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States on January 27, 2017. This executive order gives an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, a 90-day suspension on anyone arriving from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen (seven Muslim-dominant countries), and a suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. In essence, and in my opinion, the President has placed a religious ban against Muslim peoples who want or need to come into the United States.
This new executive order hit my family hard. My mom needs to renew her green card next year and after this executive order, she is worried that she will have trouble getting a new one. After calling our family friend and immigration lawyer, she quickly realized that she is lucky, even if she doesn't get a new green card. She has been extremely lucky and successful in America, but if she had to go back to her home country, The Netherlands, she would not be in danger. She would not return to a land of war and peril. The refugees that have been barred access into the United States do not have that luxury. While she realistically does not have to worry about her ability to travel back home and live in the United States, she still burst into tears realizing the gravity of the situation. She, by no means, wanted Trump to win the election. She knew that as an immigrant, a pro-choice feminist, a mother of members of the LGBT community, and someone who works with low income families in a nonprofit that the new president of her adopted home would be harmful to the rights of the people around her. Since the new president’s inauguration day, there have been many metaphorical earthquakes that force both my mom and I to realize the actual impact of President Trump’s actions on the people around us. But with everyone one of his actions or signatures, the aftershocks to this earthquake just seem to be getting stronger and scarier than any president before.
President Trump and his administration believes that this order will protect The United States from terrorist attacks and pause the refugee program in order to allow the government agencies to create stricter systems for refugee vetting to make sure the women and children escaping war are not terrorists. (Even though from 1980 to 2005, 94% of terrorists attacks on U.S. soil were made by non-Muslims). The BBC introduces another one of Trump’s poor arguments for this order by announcing that “Mr. Trump cited the attacks of 11 September 2001. But none of the 19 hijackers who committed the attacks came from countries included in the suspension. They were from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Lebanon."
In reality, the new executive order is an immature use of the President’s powers by acting on his xenophobic tendencies. We are the home of the American dream, where people can escape from their dangerous homeland to find a place that welcomes them. When we cut off seven of the most needy countries from their chance to find a safe place, we are losing what it means to be the United States of America. The U.S. Department of State tries to move people to action by stating that “The United States is the largest refugee resettlement country in the world, admitting approximately two-thirds of all refugee resettlement referrals worldwide each year.” If we do not allow refugees into our country, we are responsible for millions of people who do not have a safe place to survive.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) immediately sued President Trump for his Muslim ban. The ACLU came out with this statement about the case: “The lead plaintiffs have been detained by the U.S. government and threatened with deportation even though they have valid visas to enter the United States." The United States is essentially going back on promises we have made because this executive order was signed.
If you are against this Executive Order, the ACLU is a great place to donate money to voice your concern and give them the resources to fight against this unconstitutional action.