On January 27, President Donald Trump signed a new executive order designed to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the country. The order, officially called the “Protection Of The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” placed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees and suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. The ban also placed a ninety 90-day visa suspension on anyone arriving from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen. Exceptions are to be made for specific visa types, such as diplomats and members of the United Nations. President Trump noted that priority shall be given to religious minorities who struggle with persecution in their countries such as Christians in Syria. The order also reduced the number of refugees that the US will accept in 2017 from 110,000 (a standard set by former President Obama) to 50,000.
Immediately following the executive order, mass confusion and chaos ensued as permanent legal US residents (green card holders) from the seven countries listed were denied entry into the US. On January 29, the department of homeland security stated that green card holders would be determined by “case-by-case determinations,” which created further confusion as to what their criteria would be for these determinations. By February 1, the Trump administration backtracked, and the legal counsel to the president released a statement saying that the ban would not apply to green card holders.
The ban has caused a large backlash around the world. Critics of the ban claim that the order targeted Muslims solely because of their faith and that no refugees had been found guilty of any acts of terrorism. In fact, the most recent attacks in the US were carried out by citizens and nationals from countries that weren’t included in the ban. For example, Trump cited the 9/11 attacks when he introduced the executive order. However, none of the 19 hijackers involved in the attacks were from any of the countries listed.
“It still is unnecessary,” said Nathan Hernandez, a sophomore at Aloha High School, “because of the nature of most terrorist attacks in the country. They come from citizens of this country.”
Despite the bad reactions to the ban, Trump still remains firm in his support of it, saying on January 29 that “It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports. You see it all over. It’s working out very nicely and we’re going to have a very, very strict ban.”
More recently, the immigration ban has faced some legal issues. Since it’s creation, the ban has been hotly debated in the US court system, with several judges calling the ban unconstitutional, and numerous lawsuits being filed. On February 3, a federal judge suspended the order nationwide, on the grounds that it violated a clause of the constitution which prohibits the favoring of one religion over another. Since then, Trump’s attempts to reinstate the ban have been stonewalled by the judicial system, as numerous panels of judges rule against reinstating it.
Trump has openly expressed his dismay with these court rulings, tweeting that the resistance from the judicial branch was “making his job very difficult!” and “so political.” After the latest ruling on February 9, Trump showed his determination to win the legal fight by tweeting “SEE YOU IN COURT!”
Diamond, Jeremy. “Trump’s immigration ban sends shockwaves.” CNN Politics, 30 Jan. 2017.
“Trump’s executive order: Who does travel ban affect?” BBC News. BBC, 10 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.