On January 20th 2017, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated into his position as President of USA. In the following days and weeks, opponents of this Presidency came out for demonstrations not only around USA but the world. However, whilst supporters of Donald Trump scorn these protestors it has become second hand to hear their defence not as facts elevating Trump, but by degrading figures such as Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. However, this deflection of blame and distraction to irrelevant figures and facts is becoming a concerning trend not just among Trump supporters but also among the Presidency itself. A particularly controversial executive order signed by President Trump was the immigration ban order, on 27th January 2017, Holocaust Memorial Day. During the backlash President Trump received, an extremely common rebuttal by right-wingers was ‘but President Obama had a six month immigration ban on Iraq’. This line of argument is supremely concerning for two reasons; firstly, the actions of President Obama should not cancel out the disgusting acts of President Trump as both their actions have been completed under different circumstance, political climates and scales. To compare the reaction of one President’s immigration ban to the other is just as ridiculous as comparing the outcome of one murder trial in court to another. Secondly, regardless of similarities between their immigration bans, this should never have been and should never be an excuse to silence the voice and opinions of someone; I myself was barely a teenager, and certainly not invested in politics to the same extent as I am now, when Obama was President and was not aware of this immigration ban however I am a strong believer that however wrong that order was, everyone should be able to fight against this one.
Moreover, the justification of the ban for Trump and his supporters was in order to increase the strength of their vetting system. Although on the outside this seems a reasonable goal to achieve because the security of the country is a serious matter and the President’s responsibility, this particular immigration ban is certainly not the answer to solve their problem. It is said that the countries included within the ban (originally Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan however Iraq was removed from the revised order) are countries with unstable governments, thus the information they provide cannot be trusted or not even found by governments who do not have efficient information of their citizens. Naturally, this makes anyone coming from these countries a threat, as there is no reliable or extensive information on them, to support their visa. However, this immigration ban is not a solution. Firstly, for people whose information is amiss, no order or ban will magically summon this information. Secondly, even if they are able to recruit more information on their citizens, it is highly unlikely that the governments of these countries will decide to fully cooperate with the US government, as often they are self interested and find ‘the West’ to be the pinnacle of their suffering, and rather than wanting their citizens to escape these war torn countries, they want them to stay so as not to be corrupted. Additionally, countries in which ISIS has a stronghold are particularly vulnerable in this situation. The more these countries are stigmatised and isolated from the West, the more vulnerable they are to being radicalised by this group who claim to want to destroy the West. It is not a ridiculous notion as ‘the West’ is the very entity allowing these innocent people to continue suffering under their regimes. Finally, often terrorists do have troubling pasts and it is extremely risky for them to arrive through the law, and these vindictive psychopaths certainly won’t be held back by a ban. Someone who wants to enter the USA for such horrific motives can find a way, regardless of a ban.
However, even if you do see reasoning in wanting to increase vetting and this being the most sensible approach, this ban still does not address a very concerning point. Any terrorist attack committed by a person born outside of America has been from, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Egypt. Therefore, although one can see his reasoning to prevent terrorists from arriving from the countries in his immigration ban, it is difficult to understand his choice to not take action against these countries. Clearly, there must be more to the problem than unstable governments if they are arriving from these countries, and why not put these into the immigration order. The answer is two fold, firstly, the financial and power gains in these countries for USA is paramount and an immigration ban with these countries would take away Western influences in Pakistan and the powerful business links he has in these other countries. In this reasoning, we see that Trump does not have the safety of the Americans first, but rather a continuing investment in corrupt governments for personal gain. The second reason can be seen in his country choice. Trump chose the weakest countries in the Middle East and North Africa to target, to continue the monopoly of the West in these areas. It is difficult to deny that many wars and issues that have arisen in this part of the world have come from involvement of the USA and the rest of Western Europe; this has not only increased their power, but also facilitated the rise of the extreme right through fear mongering.
With an understanding of the wider negative impact of this ban on the world and the increasing dangers this causes for the security of the USA, we also need to understand the dangers in Trump’s response to opposition. To refute and deflect the protests of the people is one thing, however to fire people within the governmental system who disagree with you, such as the Attorney General and judges who overturned the order, is terrifying. These people raised the fair point that this order unfairly involved green card holders and legal residents of the USA, despite Trump’s continuous claims that his only issue was with illegal immigrants. Although this was soon corrected and has been excluded from the revised immigration ban, many people suffered along the way. This rejection of anyone with a differing opinion, no matter how well educated, is very worrying and something, which needs to be carefully watched throughout his presidency. In the final push to implement his revised immigration order, a judge in Hawaii prevented and blocked the immigration ban, followed by a berating from Trump which was highly unprofessional. Although we can expect Trump to return with another reformed immigration order very soon it is still terrifying to see his tactics and reactions for various situations. The immigration ban may not have been successful but the message Trump sent of how he will run his presidency should not be forgotten.
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On my account I am hoping to start discussion on different political topics, update you when I upload and interact with people of all different political opinions.