On Friday afternoon, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order which did three things: it suspended entry of refugees in the United States for 120 days, barred entry to Syrian refugees indefinitely and suspended immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.
To say the order has caused chaos and outcry would be an understatement, and to just call it a farce would leave so much unsaid. Practically, the order caused an immediate crisis of sorts. It stranded an indeterminate number of people in American airports and, ultimately, has affected about 90,000 people around the world.
It’s a move toward the un-American from an administration that is only showing growing contempt for the Constitution and the American people.
It took all of one day for parts of the order to be put on hold when on Saturday, federal Judge Ann Donnelly issued a court order stopping the government from deporting refugees. It only took one more day for the White House, in the form of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, to take a step back, formally excluding legal residents and those with green cards.
Though backlash be damned, it seems, as the White House has been doubling down on the order even as it pulls back.
“This is not a Muslim ban,” Trump said in a written statement. “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.”
It was a sentiment that was summed up best by Priebus earlier that day.
“We’re not willing to be wrong on this,” Priebus said as he made the Sunday show circuit.
Trump went on to say that the order only affected about 100 people out of some 300,000 travelers, and while Trump is not necessarily wrong here, he is not necessarily right either. It’s true that there are more majority-Muslim countries than those included in the executive order. What is also true, however, is that the order excludes Saudi Arabia — the country from which the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were born and harbored.
In point of fact, there has been no deadly terrorist from any of the seven travel-restricted countries and, if we’re to be honest, more recent deadly terrorist attacks have been homegrown. In Orlando, Charleston and Colorado Springs, the shooters were born in America and even in San Bernardino, the shooters were radicalized at least in part in the U.S.
On top of that, his numbers are way off base. There are 90,000 people from the seven affected countries who have received immigrant or nonimmigrant visas. To count just the 100 or so people detained — which, by the way, does not include those travelers who were unable to even board a plane in the first place — is misleading at best.
It also becomes hard to say it’s not a ban on Muslims when the White House seems to be favoring Christians from the same areas, an implicit part of the order made explicitly clear by a Trump interview this weekend.
This order is, at its core, contrary to the founding values of this country and not only harms America as a whole, but even our own university community. Every part of a university, from its teachers to its students, can be affected by this and we have no reason to believe that this won’t be the case.
This is an order that cannot stand.
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