In 2014, I moved to Pakistan to marry my significant other whom I met in the United Kingdom. We got married in the company of his family and neighbors in Peshawar, where my husband is from.
He and I continued to live in Peshawar with his family until last year, when he finally received his visa to enter the United States. The entire process took several years, required an attorney and wasn’t easy.
A few months after we moved to California on Dec. 7, 2015, Donald Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
The statement was written in a press release on his website, where it remains.
This is more than a slap in the face—this is a complete robbery of civil liberties and the right to freely practice religion. Trump’s peddling of Islamophobia is discrimination at its worst, to say the least.
During the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, 2016, Trump said his policy against Muslims has “morphed into [an] extreme vetting from certain areas of the world.”
This more recent iteration of his “Muslim ban” revolves around nationality rather than religion. Accordingly, discrimination based on nationality would not contradict the First Amendment’s protection against religious discrimination.
Now that Trump is the president-elect, much speculation has arisen as to how he might implement this proposal and whether or not he would require the approval of Congress.
According to a recent Vox article, the First Amendment would not prevent him from implementing a ban on immigration from certain countries, namely those with links to terrorism such as Pakistan.
Moreover, as legal experts on immigration explained to Vox, he most likely would not need Congress’ approval to block certain people from immigrating into the country.
The Washington Post reported on Sunday that Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani said to CNN’s Jake Tapper, “It wouldn’t be a ban, it would be extreme vetting.”
While the suggested Attorney General explained that Trump had softened his stance on the ban, he specifically pointed to six countries which this would affect: Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen.
If you or your family happens to be from one of those countries, and you are not citizens of the United States, does that mean that your rights to enter the country will be revoked for the next four years?
It is mostly speculative at this point, and it is doubtful Trump himself has a solid plan.
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) November 10, 2016
This is all very discouraging, but we have nothing to hide. So, if we are to undergo extreme vetting, so be it. Authorities will not find anything. An actual ban based on nationality would be incredibly racist.
But God is greater than this.
And, if the situation gets worse, there’s always Pakistan.