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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

America First


President Trump’s temporary immigration ban

Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, there has been a record of over 90 counts of plotted or successful radical Islamic terror attacks in the United States. As a result, President Trump wants to increase national security by temporarily banning travel to the U.S. for 90 days from seven countries, from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.

To be clear, this is not a ban on Muslims. According to Pew Research, there were over 49 countries in the world classified as “Muslim-majority” in 2010. Therefore, to even say that this is a discriminatory executive order targeted at just Muslims is false. To be exact, this temporary ban encompasses 218 million Muslims out of the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide for only 90 days and just 12 percent of the faith is affected —not a majority in any sense.

There was much concern as to whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was infiltrating the refugee camps and utilizing this to their benefit to travel across the world. The reason this temporary ban is effective is that it directly halts the influx of people from entering the U.S. from specific regions. Contrary to popular belief, President Trump did not compile this list.

According to Seth Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post op-ed editor, the Obama administration was responsible for compiling the list of countries used in President Trump’s temporary immigration ban Back in Feb. 2016, the Department of Homeland Security made the announcement that it would continue the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Protection Act of 2015. This law specifically handpicks the seven countries that are targeted in President Trump’s executive order that are still a concern today. President Trump is not engaging in any unconstitutional activity.

According to Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act: “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 non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. ”

Little do many realize, there are two clauses that permit either the grant of visas or allow migrants to enter the country on a case-by-case basis. Section 3(g) in this executive order reads, “The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-bycase basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked .” And in Section 5(e), “The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest… ” To reiterate, this is not meant to discriminate against Muslims or migrants fleeing their homes for various reasons, it is meant to keep Americans safe. America first.

This is just one of the first steps in President Trump’s “Make America Safe Again” policy. The loudest voices sometimes do not represent the majority, however. More individuals support the temporary ban than oppose it.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that 48 percent of Americans support this temporary ban of specific immigrants as opposed to the 42 percent who disagree. A recent Rasmussen poll showed a majority of those polled support the temporary ban – 56 percent support the halt of migrants while only 32 percent oppose it.

As a student who passionately follows politics and world news – who has been educated by the Jesuits since high school and firmly believes in the ‘magis’ – there is no doubt in my mind that these refugees and immigrants need help. To turn the other cheek would certainly be detrimental to our values as a country and as leaders of the free world. President Trump wants to protect the people in America first, which is his job as Commander in Chief. Too many people have died in the hands of Islamic terrorism to accept this major risk.

I believe that there should be safe zones established in these countries to harbor the thousands of people affected by this temporary ban. In fact, such a safe zone exists in Saudi Arabia. In 2015, the Washington Times reported: “…the country has over 100,000 empty, air-conditioned tents that could house up to 3 million refugees “. It is illogical that we should bear the burden and risk any level of national security by not taking this precaution. We should proceed with extreme vetting. I am sure that most of these people are good people, but if our government has determined these countries are likely harboring terrorists, we cannot blindly trust that all will come with good intentions.

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