By: Kylan Watson
With a stroke of his pen, President Trump followed through with another one of his campaign promises on Friday, January 27th 2017. As he signed an executive order that banned travel to seven majority Muslim countries for 90 days, stopped admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely, and banned all other refugee admissions for 120 days. The seven countries that were affected are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. The confusion over the ban has disproportionately affected not only refugees, but people with green cards and visas from each of these seven countries. This ban is significant and could have wide ranging affects not only in the United States, but in the world as well. This ban is bigger than politics and sports.
Trump’s travel ban has faced criticism, not only from Democrats, but also from his fellow Republicans. Protesters flocked to airports all over the country and around the world to protest Trump’s new executive order. CEO’s from big companies like Microsoft, Apple, Disney, and many more condemned Trumps’ ban. Many members of the intelligence community have said it only serves to make the U.S.A less safe as it strengthens our enemies, and allows terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda to gain more recruits.
Mr. Trump and his administration have spent the last few days playing defense, and defending the ban. Saying they are only following the Obama administrations example. While it is true that former President Obama stopped Iraqi citizens from trying to become U.S. Citizens under the government’s Special Visa Immigrant Visa Program. Only 618 Iraqis were allowed into the country in 2011, when Obama stopped the program. That only happened because some interpreters from Iraq were charged with terrorism charges. The truth of the matter is this, none of the countries listed on Trump’s ban have carried out a successful terrorist attack on America’s soil in 30 years.
Trump’s ban has left many people including some athletes who are holding training camps around the world in peril, as to whether they can get back into the country. The NBA asked the State Department for clarification, since some basketball players are from some of the countries listed in Trump’s executive order. Player’s like Luol Deng who is from Sudan and has dual citizenship from the United Kingdom and United States of America. Nike spokesman and former Olympic Sprinter Sir Mohamed “Mo” Farah who is from Somalia and also has dual citizenship from Britain and America; Farah lives in Oregon.
The truth is the United States has the toughest vetting process for refugees in the world. Less than one percent of the global population is able to gain visas or green cards from the United States of America. Approximately 3 million refugees have been given asylum or gain citizenship from the U.S. In 2016, the U.S. accepted 84,995 refugees from all over the world. That was a record under the Obama Administration, for the most refugees accepted into the U.S. under President Obama. However, most people may be surprised to learn that in 2016 most refugees came from the Congo; approximately 16,370. The number of Syrian refugees during September 2016 was 12,587.
Some may argue that Trump’s ban will keep the homeland safe, but increasingly an argument can be made that Trump’s ban is based on fear instead of reality.