By Adam Wood / Staff Writer
Donald Trump enters his second week in office with the lowest approval rating of any newly-minted president in recent history. His first one hundred days, of course, shall consist of him ‘making good’ on the promises he had made on the campaign trail. Among these promises is the colloquially dubbed “Muslim Ban”, a hastily written executive order intended to snuff out the threat of “radical Islamic terrorism”.
The Muslim Ban
Trump’s contentious ‘Muslim Ban’ temporarily bars travel (and immigration) from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) while putting a hold on the refugee program and outright banning Syrian Refugees from entering the country. While ddual-citizens of the seven countries are permitted to enter the United States, those who hold green cards must submit themselves to an additional screening process. Around 60,000 people had their visas “provisionally” revoked by the Executive Order.
Is It Necessary?
There are quite a few problems underpinning the President’s Muslim Ban. Around 800,000 refugees have been admitted into this country since the start of the “War on Terror”; as of 2015, only three were found to be terrorists. Last year, former president Barrack Obama had admitted over 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States; not a single one of the 10,000 Syrian men, women, and children were terrorists who posed a threat to this country. It is sobering to know that the perpetrators behind the San Bernadino and the Pulse Nightclub shootings were not Syrian refugees or newly-arrived Iraqi immigrants – they were American citizens. It is sobering to know that the perpetrators behind the San Bernadino and the Pulse Nightclub shootings were not Syrian refugees or newly-arrived Iraqi immigrants – they were Americans. It is a fact that 82% of the Muslims who commit acts of terror in this country are U.S. citizens; since 1975, only 17 terrorists have emerged from the countries President Trump has targeted. Based upon these numbers, one can easily conclude that America already has a top-notch vetting process in place.
It is an understatement to merely label the Muslim Ban as “contentious.” the executive order is almost as polarizing as the presidency of the man who enacted it. According to CBS News, 51% of Americans disapprove of the ban while, in another poll, CBS notes that only 40% approve of Donald Trump’s handling of the presidency thus far. In the political realm, the issue is just as divisive. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R), while admitting that the executive order was “confusing”, supported the ban on policy grounds, with the belief that “President Trump is right to make sure we are doing everything possible to know exactly who is entering our country.” Meanwhile, Senators John McCain (R) and Lindsey Graham (R), ardent critics of the President, have released the following joint statement:
“We should not stop green-card holders from returning to the country they call home. We should not stop those who have served as interpreters for our military and diplomats from seeking refuge in the country they risked their lives to help. And we should not turn our backs on those refugees who have been shown through extensive vetting to pose no demonstrable threat to our nation.”
Though there are differing opinions amongst the Republican parliamentarians, there seems to be near universal condemnation amongst the Democrats with fiery opposition coming from party leaders such as the House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D) , who vowed that “Senate Democrats are gonna introduce legislation to overturn this and move it as quickly as we can.” Nevertheless, President Trump’s Executive Order has run into several roadblocks thrown in place by the Judiciary; Federal District Courts across the country have challenged provisions of the Muslim Ban, chipping away at Executive Order – one such court in Washington has even prevented enforcement of the Ban – if only temporarily. It should be noted that the Washington Judge was appointed by former president George W. Bush (R).
While the Muslim Ban was met with uproar at home, there has been considerable outcry abroad. The Iraqi parliament is calling for a ban on US citizen’s entering the country in protest of the ban; according to one parliamentarian: “Iraq is in the frontline of the war of terrorism … and it is unfair that the Iraqis are treated in this way.” A high-ranking French official decried the measure as America shrugging its moral responsibility, stating that for Western countries, “[t]he reception of refugees fleeing the war, fleeing oppression, is part of our duties.” Though the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, is reticent on the issue, British citizens have made their voice clear through a petition calling for the Prime Minister to turn down the state visit from President Trump. The petition has garnered over a million signatures and will be debated upon in the House of Commons.
With a highly contentious executive order, Donald Trump starts his first month in office under heavy criticism; the big name politicians in the Senate are outraged and Federal Judges are slamming their gavels in protest. More notably, thousands of citizens are protesting the Ban with the chant “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here” reverberating across the country. Many lawyers are even volunteering to take up the cause of those effected by the Ban.
Needless to say, not many are pleased thus far with President Trump’s performance as Commander in Chief.