By Tommy Manley, Franklin & Marshall College
Since Donald Trump’s inauguration last Friday, he has surprised many by passing a series of executive orders, many of which have been controversial. This Friday, just one week after his inauguration, President Trump signed an executive order that effectively banned nationals and dual nationals from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The order also halted the United State’s refugee program for 120 days, while also banning Syrian refugees indefinitely. The seven countries affected by this ban include Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya. The reasoning behind this action was that the Department of Homeland Security has previously seen these seven countries as the most likely to be harboring terrorists, and President Trump wishes to remodel the way in which people of these nationalities are vetted.
This order has barred many members of these nationalities from entering the US and detained those who happened to be en route to the US at the time of the order. This not only affects those who wish to just visit the United States from one of these countries, but a variety of others. Those who have been affected so far by this order include permanent residents returning to the US after a trip, for example international students, and refugees being relocated to the United States.. Until this morning, those with green cards were detained entering the US or turned away from airports abroad. According to the Trump administration, this order so far has only detained 109 people in transit or in the airport, although the number is controversial. This has sparked protests across the country in several international airports, including attorneys trying to liberate those detained. So far, sixteen state attorneys have condemned the action, citing it as unconstitutional. Another who saw this as unconstitutional was a federal judge, who has since issued an emergency order to stop the deportation of those from the seven blacklisted countries who hold visas. While it does not appear that there is much that can be done about the executive order, thankfully in our country there are checks and balances in place that keep the president from permanently making such decisions. Hopefully, the order will be reviewed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has the power to deem an executive order as unconstitutional, and therefore can repeal it.
From the viewpoint of the Trump administration and their supporters, this action was necessary in order to work towards preventing another terrorist attack on American soil. If anything, though, it could prove to do the opposite. International relations with these countries, especially Iran, are already tense, and this action will only widen the divide between us. After the order was put into placed, Iran issued a ban on all US nationals from entering the country until the order is reversed. According to some, this move will only move to strengthen ISIS by fueling them with more possible propaganda. This could very well turn those who sympathize with the US to turn against us.
The United States is a country founded on immigration. While history shows that the American people have always showed some resistance to immigrants, the great positive effect of these immigrants on our country cannot be denied. For example, Albert Einstein and Joseph Pulitzer President Trumps most recent executive order and his policy on immigration will prevent bright minds and hard workers from these countries and others from emigrating to this country. His executive order goes against what makes America great.