By Alyssa M, Franklin and Marshall College.
On Friday January 27th, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a ban on refugees and citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya from entering the United States for 90 days. The executive order ban is so restrictive that citizens of these seven countries who currently have visas for the United States are not allowed entry for 90 days until a substantial vetting program can be put in place. This executive order act went into effect immediately, and upon arriving in United States airports, a large number of travelers and refugees from the seven countries on the watch list were detained. However, this raises the question: Will the implementation of the immigration order curtail terrorism or provoke ISIS and further their cause?
According to Reince Priebus, the White House Chief of Staff, the seven countries that the ban focuses on were named by the Obama administration as “the seven most dangerous countries in the world in regard to harboring terrorists and affirmed by Congress multiple times.” Hence, it could be argued that Trump’s immigration order might help to keep America safe. However, others might argue that imposing this ban could provoke ISIS and encourage enlistment. In addition, the immigration order could potentially hurt the US in the future if ISIS decides to recruit members from countries who are not on the watch list.
A substantial portion of Donald Trump’s campaign was focused on the war on terrorism. Donald Trump’s official website, Donald J Trump For President, outlines this point in the statement, “Vet applicants to ensure they support America’s values, institutions and people, and temporarily suspend immigration from regions that export terrorism and where safe vetting cannot presently be ensured.” The abrupt, broad implementation of this ban signals a vain attempt by Trump to eradicate terrorism from the United States. While President Trump’s intentions were clear, the planning and execution of the executive order was not.
Every country has the right to protect its borders to ensure the safety of its citizens. However, by invoking such a prohibitory act, he is disrupting thousands of citizens from the prohibited countries with legal visas from entering the United States. This includes many valuable and productive members of our society such as students, teachers, researchers, physicians, and vetted refugees seeking asylum in the United States. The resulting backlash of the ban could potentially inspire the kind of hatred that breeds further recruitment into ISIS and encouragement for further terrorist attacks.
I applaud President Trump’s efforts in keeping his promise to ensure the security of American citizens from terrorism. However, this current executive order of immigration borders on harassment and blatant discrimination against thousands of families that, through no fault of their own, have been prohibited readmission into the United States. I believe less extreme measures should be taken to ensure the safety of the United States, while welcoming those who wish us no harm. Potential ideas could include a more stringent vetting process for refugees and citizens of countries on the watch list entering the United States. Lastly, I believe that the frequency of travel for citizens of these seven countries into or out of the United States should be monitored to raise red flags when excess traveling from the United States to the countries on the watch list occurs. By instituting proper protective measures, we can protect the people of the United States while supporting those who have been vetted. This will foster good relations between immigrants and the communities that they enter.
Overall, I feel the implementation of the immigration order could be detrimental to the United States, as it might be interpreted as an open invitation to an ISIS attack. Furthermore, by the detainment of immigrants at our airports, President Trump may have created a fertile ground for potential ISIS recruits within the United States.
Source: Dudley, Dominic. “Why Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Will Make Defeat Of ISIS Harder.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 29 Jan. 2017. Web. 29 Jan. 2017. http://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2017/01/29/trump-muslim-ban/2/#61f5f0d252cf
Source: “Immigration.” Donald J Trump for President. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2017. https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/immigration
Source: Savransky, Rebecca. “Trump Team Unified in Defense of Immigration Order.” TheHill. N.p., 29 Jan. 2017. Web. 29 Jan. 2017. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/316760-trump-team-unified-in-defense-of-immigration-order
Source: “Trump’s Executive Orders Dramatically Expand Power of Immigration Officers.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/donald-trump-immigration-detention-deportations-enforcement/