Held Against their Will

Protesters holding signs and a sign that says "No".
Protesters holding signs

By Valeria Ramirez

While enjoying my Friday evening, I received a notification on my phone: “Trump’s executive order will ban Muslims from entering the United States.” I was devastated when I heard that Trump was going to keep his promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border—learning about this executive order has been heartbreaking.

The executive order on immigration, also known as “the Muslim ban,” affects refugees who are waiting to settle in the U.S., those who are traveling to the United States, and it also affects students who are currently studying abroad. The ban impacts these listed countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  The ban potentially prevents immigrants who travel overseas from returning home to the U.S.—it doesn’t allow people with legal residency (green cards) to visit their home countries for fear they will be denied re-entry into the United States.

The United States is considered to be the land of opportunity, where people from different places are able to make a life for themselves. This country was founded by immigrants, and would cease to be what it is today without the contributions of immigrants who pursue the elusive “American dream.” This ban is a reflection of an unnecessary protocol that was initiated by fear and hate mongering. Many of Trump’s cabinet support this order, but do not fully understand the lives and families that are affected by this.

Many immigrants have spent years working and assisting the U.S military, hoping to gain visas to come to the United States, but then realize that they’re not welcome here. This ban will affect the flow of international students coming to U.S. universities and will impact the funding that our universities receive from these students. The University of Idaho has released a statement in regard to the situation: “We will be reaching out and advising them not to travel abroad until we know more about the specific practices that will be implemented.” The University of Idaho will try to find solutions to this problem and will be contacting those who are affected. While most students who attend this university shouldn’t have to fear, other universities will treat this problem differently. Either way, many universities might face a decrease in revenue due to this ban.

This order also promotes hate and bigotry, to the point that our country is divided. This hate will only bring downfall to our society and will reverse years of progress towards civil and human rights. The world is watching—we are creating our own reputation. The way we act with each other and the type of legislation that we pass as a country will directly impact the way we are perceived on the global stage.

Already, mass protests have started and the growing support for those who are affected by this order is unprecedented. Many lawyers are currently helping immigrants with legal counsel and fighting back on the enacted executive order to challenge the direct constitutional crisis that has arisen.

Trump’s presidency has already sparked widespread fear and mass hysteria, and he has only been in office for a week. It’s incredibly concerning to wonder what the next four years might look like. My fears are turning into a reality in a just a couple of days with the many legislative actions that are already in place. My friends are worried for their families’ safety and they’re in this country. With almost everyone in the country feeling the same fear, the only way to help one another in these type of situations is to provide support. Support and be there for those who are affected by this legislation. Never be angered by those who have different opinions from you—respect them, and be a bigger person than those who spread hate.

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