The Roar’s take on Trump’s “travel ban”
March 2, 2017
Filed under Editorials
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Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya. All of these countries have one thing in common: People from these countries cannot enter the U.S. for 90 days and refugees cannot enter for 120 days.
The Washington Post reported that the countries banned are based on a bill former President Barack Obama signed in December 2015. White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway stated that “This president will certainly keep identifying threats and risks” [The Washington Post]. We, the Roar, believe that although we want the best and safest future for our country, banning trespass from just seven countries won’t solve the problem. Not to mention, the ban is extreme discrimination against the people of those countries and also violates the First Amendment.
According to an article by CNN.com, many people escaping these seven countries flee because of conflict, human rights abuses, and long-term unemployment. In Syria, millions have been affected by the war-torn conditions there for nearly six years. Iraq hasn’t been politically stable since 2003, when the U.S. invaded the country and captured then-dictator Saddam Hussein. Iran’s oil-reliant economy continues to decline and unemployment continues to increase. Yemen has been in a civil war for over two years now. Libya hasn’t had a stable government since 2011, and now three self-styled governments compete for power. Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 51.6% of people living in poverty. The humanitarian crisis in Somalia leaves natives subject to indiscriminate attacks, sexual violence, and arbitrary arrests. In Sudan, their main reasons for conflict are the unequal allocation of public resources and access to natural resources.
The initial purpose of Obama’s list of those seven countries was that he was going to restrict visa waivers–waivers given to citizens of specific countries so that they don’t need to obtain a visa and can spend up to ninety days in the U.S.–from those countries. Trump is using the list to ban immigrants and visitors from these countries–even ones with green cards. We believe that the list was taken entirely out of context of what it was meant for. Muslim-majority countries Trump has businesses in–such as Istanbul, Turkey, and Dubai–were not included in the ban. This leads people to believe that the ban is not only racist and discriminatory of religion but also biased. Trump has said that Christians from these countries have had a hard time entering the country and have been treated unfairly. Therefore, this ban is extremely hurtful against the Muslim religion.
Defending Trump’s executive order, Conway pointed out that forty-six Muslim majority countries are not included in the ban, which undercuts the idea that this is a Muslim ban, She stated that, “This is a ban on travel, prospective travel from countries, trying to prevent terrorists in this country from countries that have a recent history of training and exporting and harboring terrorists” [The Washington Post]. If controlling the travel of terrorists is the real reason for the ban on these particular countries, then why was Saudi Arabia–where the 9/11 hijackers came from–not on the list? Why was Obama’s list of countries that he wanted to restrict visa waivers from used for a severe punishment on countries that arguably are not threatening to the safety of this country? And why did the list not include any countries where Trump has business interests? For now, not much can be done to solve this problem besides protesting. People especially have been protesting in airports, where many of the immigrants are being detained.
To reiterate, the main purpose for Obama’s list of seven countries became a ban on travel for travelers, refugees, and immigrants with green cards alike. We, The Roar, believe that this ban is not just one on travel, but that it is discriminating against a certain race and religion. The U.S. is a country made up of immigrants, and to discriminate against one race and religion is to disrespect what our country stands for.