By Gabriella Pisano ’18
This past week all news sources, from newspapers to social media, have been full of stories about President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. On Friday, January 27, President Trump signed an executive order that affected the lives of many refugees and immigrants.
The executive order had many parts to it. In addition to blocking citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days, the order also indefinitely bars Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. and suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days.
While many of these policies are temporary, a cap has also been placed on the number of refugees to be accepted into the U.S. in 2017. Instead of the 110,000 limit set by former President Obama, there is now a cap of 50,000.
Due to the executive order, many people were detained at airports throughout America. This sparked protests, and many called the ban un-American. The countries included in the executive order are predominantly Muslim.
President Trump states, “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion, this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”
“There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order,” he continued. “We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.”
Despite President Trump’s statement, many activists are arguing that Trump is stigmatizing all Muslims in an attempt to improve policies to prevent terrorism.
Trump stands by his statement claiming that the ban is on those seven countries not because of religion but because of the ties these countries have to terrorism.
With so much change happening only weeks into his presidency, people around the world are wondering what is to come. Looking back at the history of immigration in the United States, other restrictions based on national origin are apparent.
Many are questioning how this affects those who were traveling at the time the order was passed. The order states, “The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”
Rience Priebus, white house chief of staff, spoke of that discretion stating, “green card holders going forward, it doesn’t affect them. If you are moving in and out of those seven countries, you will be subject to more questions.”
An estimated 109 people were detained at airports or in transit. However, after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a case in response to President Trump’s executive order, a federal judge issued a temporary halt to the deportation of visa holders or refugees at U.S. airports.