How Immigration Ban Alienates Refugees

Jacob Martinez, Production Manager

Since President Donald Trump’s signing of an executive order which bans refugees and immigrants from entering the country, protests have erupted in major cities around the world.

The immigration ban, signed on Jan. 27, denies refugees access to the U.S. for 120 days while immigrant’s from seven primarily Muslim countries will not be allowed entry for a period of 90 days. The seven countries selected are Iran, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria.

The executive order is heavily criticized by political figures, despite party affiliation, such as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is “deeply worried” of the manner in which the U.S. will treat thousands of refugees seeking aid. For his first announcement since leaving office, former President Barack Obama applauded citizens for exercising the right to protest, especially “when American values are at stake.” Two days after the order was signed Republican Senator John McCain released a statement calling the order a “self-inflicted wound” which can benefit terrorist recruitment.

Marwa Boroy, a 19-year-old William Paterson freshman, is a first-generation college student whose parents left Syria with the hope of providing a better life for their only daughter. Now citizens, Boroy’s parents underline the common motive of most immigrants traveling to the U.S.; family.

“It is inhumane to deny someone the opportunity of a better life because of the religion that person may practice. My father came here as an immigrant and had to work really hard, just like many other immigrants who come here, to attend college and provide for his family,” said Boroy.

Social Influence

Muslim refugee acceptance into the country has always depended on current societal views and opinions. Under new regulations, Christian refugees are given higher priority over Muslim noncitizens, with a total of 50,000 Muslim refugees being allowed access for all of 2017. The allowed total is nearly 23,000 more than those allowed in following the terrorist attacks in September 2001.

Trump continues to remain loyal to his course of action regarding immigration which he mapped out before winning the presidential election. Trump’s plan to put America first stated that he would “turn off the jobs and benefits magnet” which attracted illegal immigrants, discontinue granting visas in places “where adequate screening cannot occur,” according to the Donald J. Trump website. Despite the dissent visible at numerous airports around the country, Reuters released an opinion poll which showed that nearly one in two Americans agree with the new immigration laws.

“America was built on the platform of freedom, whether it be freedom of speech and religion. Everyone is welcomed here, and the denial of that freedom is purely unethical,” said Boroy.

On Monday, Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates after her refusal to uphold the executive order. Federal Judge Ann Donnelly blocked part of the immigration order, allowing immigrants stranded at JFK airport due process.

Government officials will continue to enforce the executive order until an alternative vetting process is made available.