On Wednesday, Donald Trump was expected to sign an Executive Order preventing refugees, Muslim immigrants and some visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States.
We knew this was coming.
On the campaign trail, he regularly boasted of his immigration plans for the nation which, at the time, promised a complete immigration ban on Muslims, a Muslim registry, an end to legal protections afforded under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The foundations of this measure were laid in 2015 within a discriminatory Visa Waiver bill H.R. 158 under the Obama administration. The expansion to include a complete ban may hold a single exception – to Christians fleeing Muslim-majority countries or other religious minorities.
Discrimination based on religious identity is unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution, given that the person in question is already in the United States. It is unclear whether this measure will hold exception to LGBTQ refugees, a growing priority amongst nations accepting asylum applications.
While the United States has one of the most thorough vetting systems established for immigrants and refugees, the Executive Order will prompt a full, but hopefully temporary ban of entry until a more rigorous vetting system can be implemented, which will include ideological tests.
“I never thought I would hear the words ‘Muslim ban,’ especially from the president of the United States,” said a Muslim who spoke under the conditions of anonymity. Muslim Girl has been hearing from women who will be directly or peripherally impacted by the ban, and here is what they want you to know: “Immigration” is not a bad word. We live in a nation founded and cultivated by immigrants.
Immigrants are brave. Immigrants have come here against all odds – after they have been rendered homeless after U.S. occupation, after having survived wars, and after dubious lawyers have cheated them of fees, dignity and a promise of a better tomorrow. Immigration means security and opportunity. Immigration fosters identity. They want you to know that we are here because you are there.
In a Tweet on Tuesday night, National Executive Director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations Nihad Awad condemned the potential of the orders, saying, “[They] will not make our nation safer, rather they will make it more fearful and less welcoming.”
The National Iranian American Council issued a statement underlining the hypocrisy of the ban, while giving folks an opportunity to take action against the order. “This is discriminatory. This is un-American,” it said. “And last but not least: This is dangerous, as it pits Americans against Americans — while undermining the very principles of inclusivity and tolerance that made America great.”
Former chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under the Obama administration and professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Stephen Legomsky, stated that, “From a legal standpoint, it would be exactly within his legal rights…but from a policy standpoint, it would be terrible idea because there is such an urgent humanitarian need right now for refugees.”
For a complete list of the Executive Orders Donald Trump has signed in the first week of his presidency, click here.