Donald Trump and his supporters rationalize the executive order by claiming they attempt to prevent terrorism by impeding the travel from six majority Muslim countries. But, if that’s the case, then there is no explanation behind why people who aren’t from these countries are also getting hassled and denied entrance when travelling to the United States of America.
Although there are relatively stringent orders, many Africans also fear that they are being impacted by this executive order. An article from CNN states how several Nigerians have stated that they have been denied entry since the executive order has been placed. One instance is from a real estate businessman, named Femi Olaniyi, who was travelling to Los Angeles with a visa. As he recounts, an immigration officer proceeded to interrogate him and then held him in a cell for four days. Following the four days, he then revoked his visa and sent him back to Nigeria.
The explanation that was provided for the practices against numerous Nigerians was that it was in order to “establish practice rather than new policies of the Trump administration.” But if the ban is in order to monitor the people coming in from the six specified countries in the executive order, then the acts of denial of Nigerians goes against the pupose of protecting from terrorism. This raises the question of whether the executive order is really about banning Muslims or if it’s a ban on Black and brown people/
We all know that Donald Trump’s main goal in implementing his travel ban is “protecting” American lives, but is the injustice he is forcing upon the many immigrants and refugees trying to enter the country really worth the potential economic pitfalls?
According to Forbes, the travel ban can have some serious implications for trade and the U.S. economy, including tariffs, in addition to copying Trump’s order and implementing it in their own country, making business a lot harder for companies that have manufacturing plants outside of the U.S.
Similarly, one of the bigger economic impacts that Trump’s policy could lead to is a decrease in overall tourism in the United States. Although the ban makes it impossible for immigrants and refugees to come to America from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the sheer fact that the United States is partaking in an extremely exclusive, threatening foreign policy is enough to scare some potential visitors from other un-banned foreign countries from visiting. This could cause the U.S. to lose substantial income from tourism, even if they are not directly effected by the travel ban.
Not only that, but it could have implications for the American education system as well, especially in terms of foreign students coming to America for college, which could effect costs for United States citizens attending college. International students made up 5.2% of the college system in 2016, and the fear is that the students being banned from the country due to the travel ban will decide not to enroll in the fall, and could also effect the choices of students of countries who are not on the ban list, much like the tourism debacle.
Although the protection of the American people should be the top priority of the President, the extreme nature of his ban and it’s deterrence of tourism should not burden the many Americans who suffer from this ban. President Trump needs to fully understand the economic implications of this plan, not just the implications for the Trump brand, to see if this is truly the best plan for America and the refugees and immigrants seeking safety.
Vice President Mike Pence has made many statements of support about Trump’s Immigration ban, stating that stating to Fox News’ Sean Hannity that what Trump did is “impose a pause on countries that have been compromised by terrorism so that we can evaluate the screening process and establish … extreme vetting so that people coming in to this country don’t represent a threat to our families and our communities.” From this logic, there should be many more countries with travel bans, including the Philippines, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, and more. However Trump has properties (or is involved in properties) in six (Philippines, Indonesia, and Egypt) of the countries listed above, and is in business with a wealthy family from the other (Malaysia.) According to CNN, there are a total of 40 countries that have active terrorist cells, are the base for terrorist organizations, or are state sponsors of terrorism. However, only seven have official travel bans. Trump’s defense of those specific countries is that they were originally chosen by Obama’s administration as “countries of concern,”
While those countries have a travel ban, there are still 33 that do not have any restrictions. The argument that by banning just those 7 countries will eliminate foreign-terrorists from entering the country is ludicrous. According to Nowrasteh, between 1975 and 2015, only 20 refugees have been convicted of attempting a terrorist act (zero Americans were injured/killed in these attempts.) Additionally, it can be seen in the previous article, that out of 580 terrorist related convictions, 92 people were U.S Citizens, while 40 were foreign-born, and 241 were not actually for terrorist offenses.
This proves that banning entry to Syrian refugees and individuals from the seven banned countries does nothing to prevent more terrorist attacks. Trump’s ban is only doing more harm than good by damaging international relations, blocking families who are only seeking safety, and inciting domestic tension.
Here is a map of countries banned by Trump with countries he’s done business in:
Supporters of Donald Trump’s executive order have various reasons for why they are advocating for this plan of action, but they all seem to share a common sentiment; “We love refugees, but…” And, that’s where we are left to ponder, do they really love refugees, if it’s conditional? The argument is that “they just want to protect the US against terror attacks, and they think that President Trump’s travel ban is a good first step.” Ever since the executive order has been announced, there has been this facade of doing what is necessary and just.
Although we all can discern that there’s no way to truly predict who may commit terror attacks, there still is this belief that as a nation, we are moving towards a safer country if we stereotype certain groups. This stereotype of who is more likely to commit acts of terror is directly related to the executive order that was released earlier in the 2017. As of March 6, 2017, the executive order has been revised, but still upholds stipulations backed by flawed rationale.
Within the executive order titled, “Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” under Section 1.h., it explains how recent history showcases that people who have obtained entry through the immigration system have ended up becoming threats to our nation. However, just because there are cases that provide evidence of terror attacks from these people doesn’t mean that keeping all immigrants out will solve this issue. There have been numerous incidents of terror attacks in our country at the hands of people who are considered to be the “ideal” American citizen. The only difference is the term we use to classify these attacks and the perception that follows. Acknowledging two cases where people who have come to the United States through the immigration system does not speak for the many others who are trying to do no harm. In Section 1.8., the executive order notes how Iraq is a special case in this situation. But, if the goal was truly about protecting the nation, there would be the same treatment and stipulations for all countries, not just six countries of the nation’s choosing. There is no level of comfort if we are only being protected from six countries citizens. If the true goal is to “protect”, there are a lot of flaws.