On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order blocking people from seven Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States, while giving persecuted minorities from those countries (Christians) preference. He simultaneously suspended America’s refugee program for 120 days and barred Syrian refugees, victims of a years-long civil war with hundreds of thousands of casualties, indefinitely. So far, over 100 travelers have been detained at airports across the country, over 300 more have been barred from entering or returning to the U.S from their own countries, and at least 13 legal challenged have been filed to halt enforcement of some elements of the order.
Now is the time to stand up against discrimination. Sign our petition to speak out against Trump’s Muslim Ban!
While Trump has been busy making false claims about protecting our national security, Americans have been busy at airport baggage claims across the country, snaking around carousels to protest the discriminatory ban and provide legal counsel to affected people.
Trump’s claims are little more than that—here are the facts about the ban and what you need to know.
- The Executive Order is absolutely a Muslim ban, and it does not make us safer.
President Trump may call the order an “immigration ban,” but it’s not: it’s a ban on Muslims, from Muslim-majority countries. He also may say that the action will make the United States safer, but closing off America to Muslim-majority countries will likely enflame, rather than reduce, religious extremism. Millennials, America’s most diverse generation, will be disproportionately affected by the ban and will also have to live with the consequences the longest.
- Trump’s executive order protects his business interests, not American interests.
The order bans travel from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa with Muslim-majority populations – Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Somalia. Conveniently, as a Bloomberg Politics report shows, the Middle Eastern Muslim-majority countries where the President holds business interests were left off the list of banned countries. And of all the terrorist attacks or attempted attacks perpetrated in the United States, none were from countries included in the travel ban. Instead, they were in countries like Saudia Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE, where Trump has business ties and which were excluded from the ban.
To be clear, we shouldn’t seek to forbid travel and immigration from any of these nations—but diving deeper into which countries Trump chose to include shows that the intent behind his executive order is not to protect American interests, but his own.
- The ban applies to people who have lived in the United States for years, including green card and visa holders.
After confusion from within the administration about whether the ban applied to green card holders, the ban in its final form allows the Department of Homeland Security to grant green card and permit recipients into the country on a discretionary basis. This means that people who have lived in America for years, like the Iranian PhD student and Fulbright scholar who was detained in JFK after living here for 12 years or the famed Syrian musician who recently toured with Yo-Yo-Ma, will not be able to travel without wondering if they’ll be let back in to the U.S.
Despite having undergone substantial vetting under the Immigration and Nationality Act, green card holders will still be subject to detainment and questioning whenever they travel, despite the promises of their visa.
- Trump and his advisors did not seek legal guidance, nor was the order shared amongst them fully.
The White House, agencies, and airports all interpreted the executive order differently, and that makes sense: the White House did not seek guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel, the Justice Department office that interprets the law for the executive branch. The executive order, therefore, lacked legal clarity and it’s not surprising that different agencies and airports interpreted its meaning in different ways. Despite all the confusion, one thing is clear: Trump bypassed legal authority to push through what many courts are now calling an illegal ban.
- Opposition to this executive order is international, and largely bipartisan.
Yes, the United States and nations across the globe have expressed outrage at Trump’s order. But it’s not just liberals who are protesting. Vox reported that a growing number of Republicans are speaking out as well. For these Republicans, their opposition is based on both civil liberties and national security grounds.
As the most diverse generation in history, Millennials don’t just understand religious pluralism—we live it. And we know it makes our country stronger. As Americans of all ages continue to demonstrate and resist, we must continue to heed the word of protestors nation-wide: “No ban, no wall. America is meant for all.”
President Trump’s ban on people from majority-Muslim nations is blatant discrimination, and as Americans, we must condemn it in unity. Add your name to our petition denouncing the Muslim ban, share your story if you’re personally affected, and commit to taking action to make sure we embody the change we wish to see in our government.