Is it immoral, illogical or illegal to put a stop on the influx of individuals who pose a threat of extremism from entering our country? President Trump seems to believe that prioritizing the safety of American citizens is more important than satiating the desires of foreign nationals to visit, reside in or immigrate to the United States. This is a sentiment that I, and millions of Americans, can agree with.
Most of the recent criticism from the media and left-leaning groups is simply unfounded and a product of misreading or misrepresenting President Trump’s executive order. With that in mind, we should examine the executive order ourselves and determine whether it is justifiable.
Many of those who are so ardently opposed to the order haven’t taken the time to either read it or the relevant immigration statutes on the books. They derogatorily refer to this as a “Muslim ban,” which is odd considering that there are 50 countries with a majority Muslim population and only seven of them are included.
What the order really intends, spelled out in plain English within the first paragraph, is a 120-day suspension of the refugee program, an indefinite suspension of refugees from war-torn Syria and a 90-day suspension of nationals coming from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – all countries which were designated as potentially unsafe by the Obama administration.
These suspensions were enacted to give the executive branch time to review and adjust some of the regulations which the president we elected has characterized as unsound. This is not a blanket ban.
The president and the secretary of Homeland Security both have the authority to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, which they already have by allowing in green card holders. And yet, despite the relatively unimpactful nature of the order and its benign intentions, how is it that radical leftists can distort this truth and assign racial motives to Trump for enacting it?
The answer is self-evident: they are lashing out at the perceived slight of him being elected and ignoring the fact that other presidents have used this and similar laws to protect and defend our country and us citizens.
Is the order moral and legal? Of course it is! It would be immoral for the president not to act on this issue – he has taken an oath to defend the Constitution and protect the citizens of this great country. This was his best effort, along with the forthcoming border wall, to deliver on that promise. If anything, his policy is not strict enough. To echo others, I would assert that countries in which there exists burgeoning radical extremist cells – the Caucuses Region, parts of Central Asia and Saudi Arabia for example – should all be included in this moratorium.
As for its constitutionality, nobody but the citizens of this country, born or naturalized, have a right to come here and I am certain the courts will come to the same realization. After all, the bulk of existing case law supports this position, as reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez and Rodriguez v. United States. This is also supported by the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act which President Trump used to validate the order states clearly that the president may act unilaterally.
Yet to deny that this was badly rolled-out would be to skew the truth. Yes, it is apparent now that many agencies were not communicating effectively or implementing the policy correctly. Yet, that hurdle has been passed. This was a new administration with a big agenda – these things happen and we must move on.
Instead of focusing on minor failures, however, what we all should be doing is putting aside our partisan differences to open a dialogue about the best ways to move forward under a new administration.
Ryan Schelwat is a member of the Hofstra College Republicans
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