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At the end of January 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that entailed a huge controversy and is extensively discussed today. According to it, people from seven countries are prohibited from entering the territory of the USA on a temporary basis (Diamond). Politicians, professionals in the spheres of law, and international relationships, as well as the representatives of the general public, divided into two large groups considering this point because only some of them believe Trump’s decision to be the right thing to do. However, even though it does not follow humanist ideals and partially discriminates people on the basis of their religion and nationality, Trump’s order should be seen as an act of protection of the USA but not as a tool for suppression of other people, because it does not ban all Muslims but prevents terrorism and secures the country and its citizens. To prove this point of view, the paper will discuss arguments for and against the refugee order so that it can be concluded if such an initiative is worthy and appropriate in the framework of both legal and moral ideas.
The issue of admission of foreign visitors, refugees, and immigrants to the USA has been discussed for a long time already. Mainly, the government would claim that such an initiative allows the country to turn into the land of second chances for people who are deprived of the basic necessities in their native countries or are poorly treated. However, politicians and the representatives of the general public became more cautious after the 9/11 attacks, as they started to take into consideration the possibility of being hurt by people to whom they lend a helping hand. Donald Trump, being a presidential candidate, has already revealed his desire to implement “a ban on all Muslim immigrants and visitors entering the USA” (Burch 2094). He did not change his views since that time and underlined that such actions are maintained to make the country great again. Thus, it is not surprising that his order affects refugee admission, applying a ban to Syrian refugees and a 90-day visa suspension for people “arriving from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen” (US & Canada). In addition to that, Trump reduced more than twice the limit for refugees that was set by Barack Obama. Of course, the possibility of exceptions was allowed.
The main reason for the controversy that developed due to the executive order deals with religious issues. Even though nationality and religious beliefs are generally claimed to be those biases that should not be taken into consideration when providing people with visas, Trump’s order definitely has such implications. He pointed out that those people who represent religious minorities will have more privileges when deciding whether to allow them to enter the USA or not. In addition to that, even though religion is not mentioned in the order specified, those countries that are mainly associated with Muslims are listed. Thus, this relation appears in human minds and entails thoughts about discrimination (PBS NewsHour).
However, the president claims that the issue does not reach this point. There are a lot of other countries where the majority of the population are Muslims, and their citizens are allowed to come to the USA (Graves). These seven countries were selected because of their connection with terrorism and the threat to the wellbeing of all Americans. Trump underlines that unlike many other politicians, he is willing to think of the security of his native country and only then consider some possibilities to help others. Such an approach tends to be reasonable because if the USA was destroyed by foreigners, it would not be able to assist anyone anymore. Some people believe that Muslims will not be accepted by the USA at all anymore, but until this happens, Trump’s temporary actions seem to be appropriate.
Controversy regarding refugees is also connected with the discussion of terrorism. The USA is a country that suffers from this issue greatly so that it is critical for it to pay attention to the security of its boards (Merica). Trump based his ideas on limiting refugees on the previous experiences of the USA. He revealed that those seven countries that face a ban are the most common locations from where terrorists come. For example, he refers to one of the recent attacks when there was “shooting in an Orlando nightclub by twenty-nine-year-old Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen whose parents were Afghan immigrants” (Burch 2094).
However, people argue that prohibiting all representatives of the mentioned countries from entering the country, the president stigmatizes them as terrorists, which is inappropriate. Treating these populations in an indiscriminate way, Trump made the representatives of the general public indignant. Professionals in the sphere of law underline that it is wrong to discriminate against people on the basis of their nationality, and what Trump does has much in common with it. Still, the evidence proves that taking precautions regarding those nationalities that have already proven their connection to the majority of terrorist attacks within the country seems to be reasonable. Moreover, the fact that such initiative is not constant means presupposes that the prohibition can be canceled as soon as the USA reaches some stability in this framework and establishes appropriate regulations to ensure the safety of its population.
Finally, the USA is widely known as a country that supports others and helps them when needed. It provides humanitarian aid to many foreign destinations and assists in military actions. People got used to the fact that it is not focused on personal benefits and expect the USA to be helpful (Lind). Many people who are facing some issues in their motherland leave it for America because there is a lot of evidence that such practice turns out to be advantageous. Still, in the framework of security, it is not safe to accept everyone. Paying too much emphasis on refugees, the government tends to deprive the local population. Thus, Trump’s idea to strengthen the USA seems to be the right step. The country should find a balance and then reborn its humanitarian initiatives.
On the basis of the discussed information, it can be concluded that Trump’s refugee order is more about protection than suppression currently. The president is willing to ensure that those populations that have a lot of terrorists and want to lead the USA to ruin are under control and have limited or even no access to the country. Still, Trump should think of other initiatives that ensure security but are not discussed as tools of discrimination. He is likely to appeal to Americans if following such an approach in the nearest future.
Burch, Elias. “Testing Citizenship.” Boston University Law Review, vol. 96, no. 6, 2016, pp. 2093-2169.
Diamond, Jeremy. “Trump’s Latest Executive Order: Banning People from 7 Countries and More.” CNN Politics. 2017, edition. Web.
Graves, Allison. “Donald Trump Says Refugee Admissions Surged From 7 Countries During Suspension of Executive Order.” Politifact. 2017, Web.
Merica, Dan. “Trump Signs Executive Order to Keep out Radical Islamic Terrorists.” CNN Politics, 2017, Web.
Lind, Dara. “Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees Closes America to Those Who Need It Most.” Vox. 2017, Web.
PBS NewsHour. “The Legal Arguments for and against Trump’s Immigration Ban.” PBS. 2017, Web.
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US & Canada. “Trump’s Executive Order: Who Does Travel Ban Affect?” BBC. 2017, Web.