Trump’s Refugee Ban: What You Need To Know

By: Julio Garcia Jr


This is Not the First Time We’ve Seen This

On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order restricting citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria for 180 days. Syrian refugees have been banned indefinitely, until the President and the Department of Homeland Security feel that vetting techniques have improved. Since the signing of the order, there has been a media firestorm in addition to protests breaking out all over the country, most notably in JFK Airport in New York City. Protesters and Democrat Politicians alike have claimed that Trump’s Executive Order is not only discriminatory based on religion, but is also unlawful and in the words of Sen. Chuck Schumer, “mean spirited and un-american.”  However, in 2011, former President Barrack Obama put a temporary halt to Iraqi refugees in response to two Al Qaeda members being discovered in Kentucky. Ironically, Chuck Schumer said in 2015 that a “refugee pause may be necessary.” Former President Jimmy Carter also put a ban on Iranian citizens from entering the country in 1980. Trump’s order is not exactly like Obama and Carter’s ban, but in many ways, especially on principle, it is reminiscent.


Attacks By Refugees Have Been  Frequent

The principle of this Executive Order is stated quite plainly in Section 1 of the text and reads as follows:

Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.”

Trump has been clear that he is taking a stance on putting America first, and most importantly is ensuring the safety of the American Public. Refugees that have passed through the visa system and have committed acts of terror include the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Ohio State Attack, the St. Cloud Knife Attack, the New York and New Jersey Bombings (September 2016), among others.


This is Not a Muslim Ban

Contrary to what is being reported by mainstream media sources, this is less a ban of Muslims, but rather, a ban on citizens of specific nations suspected of being a breeding ground for terrorism. In fact, Obama signed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act as part of an omnibus spending bill. The legislation restricted access to the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens from 38 countries who are visiting the United States for less than 90 days to enter without a visa. Though outside groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and NIAC Action — the sister organization of the National Iranian American Council — opposed the act, the bipartisan bill passed through Congress. At the initial signing of the restrictions, foreigners who would normally be deemed eligible for a visa waiver were denied if they had visited Iran, Syria, Sudan or Iraq in the past five years or held dual citizenship from one of those countries. In early 2016, Obama added Libya, Yemen, and Somalia to the list. However, it is important to note that there is a potential that more countries could be added to the list at some point in the future. The Department of Justice and Homeland Security do reserve the right to pardon people from the order on an individual basis, as they see fit. The countries with the largest Muslim populations, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, and Indonesia are not on the list.


Christians are Given Priority

Here is the text of the order regarding Christians:

“Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.”

Islam is the dominate religion of all the nations on the restrictions list, making up over 90% of the nation’s religious population respectively. This makes Christians the minority group by a vast margin. This extreme difference in population size is a potential opportunity for the persecution of Christians, which has been no stranger to these areas. This ban as a whole is completely in-line with Trump’s America First agenda, which intends to put the lives and interests of America at the forefront of public policy.

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