U.S. travel ban: the basics, the challenges and how it spread confusion around the world

by OM on May 4, 2017 - 5:45pm

The article, "Trump’s original immigration ban: How it was introduced, and how the courts shut it down", by journalist Evan Annett from The Globe and Mail, outlines how the original U.S. travel ban spread confusion around the world, but especially targeting Muslim-majority communities. The author begins by introducing the executive order of President Trump on January 27, 2017 that temporarily blocked entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries including Iranian, Iraqi, Libyan, Somali, Sudanese, Syrian and Yemeni.

Then, the article addresses the multiples challenges this executive order immediately received. In fact, it was temporarily put on hold by a court ruling in San Francisco on February 9, where lawyers of the Justice Department and the cities, like Seattle, opposing the ban argued over whether it should be reinstated. However, before the ruling was confirmed, over 60 000 visas of people from those banned countries were denied. Actually, airlines around the world only began allowing travelers from these countries to board flights to the United States again when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection gave them the authorization after the ruling. President Trump will continue fighting and soon introduce a new version of the immigration order that would satisfy the court’s concerns. Beyond the court decision, on February 21, the Department of Homeland Security issued guidance documents that increase the range of immigration being considered for deportation. Further, the article reports that refugees have been affected too by this immigration ban. As a matter of fact, the executive order put all refugee admissions on hold for 120 days. It has been said though, that Green card holders, American citizen immigrants and Canadians with dual citizenship from one of the seven countries have not been targeted. Apart from interfering with the plans of thousands of refugees and to-be immigrants, President Trump’s immigration order also disturbed the normal flow of travel and commerce in the United States.

The article concludes by questioning the legality of the ban: whether it was constitutional or not. In fact, critics have said it was not because the executive order discriminated on the basis of religion. Throughout the article, one can perceive that the author, Evan Annett, is essentially objective on this issue. In fact, he is not using positive nor negative connotation words: he is just delivering the information to the reader in order to build our own opinion.

Therefore, if one of the main goals of the immigration ban was to reduce terrorism, I think the travel ban is not a justified solution at all. A travel ban would not stop radical people to attain their objective: they would do anything, even enter the country illegally. Additionally, I think the travel ban is extremely discriminatory towards Muslim communities. In other words, I believe the reason why the seven countries targeted by the immigration ban were Muslim-majority comes from a stereotyped idea that Muslim people are all extremists. Furthermore, just like mentioned previously, this travel ban interfered with the plans of thousands of refugees and to-be immigrants, which I believe is highly unfair since some of them only wanted to escape war or difficult level of life to live in a secure place. My past experiences, where I come from, mostly explains my position on this issue. In fact, being myself an immigrant, I would be outraged not being able to see my family if a ban against my country of origin was established in Canada. In truth, my parents always told me that our origins are what makes us unique and should not deprive us from any opportunity. We are all human beings after all! Consequently, according to your values, how you see the world, was the U.S. travel ban justified/fair or even necessary? 

Source: Annett, Evan. "Trump’s original immigration ban: How it was introduced, and how the courts shut it down." The Globe and Mail, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-politics/the-donald-trump-immigration-ban/article33822491/. Accessed May 2, 2017.  



By reading your opinion on the issue, I feel like this subject is very close to you heart. Your title really grabbed my attention because of the word “confusion”. I think this term accurately describes the debate the author is telling us about.

Trumps’ power and the medias’ twisted bias against Muslims have brought a big part of the American population to believe in something that IS (in my opinion) unconstitutional. I have been raised in a family where justice is an important value. Since there is not a true cause and effect relationship between the number of terrorist attacks on the US and the number of immigrants coming from those 7 countries, this ban seems illogical to me. In fact, if Americans wanted to blame a country for all the terrorist attacks taking place over and over, they should blame themselves and look at the way they handle gun control. In summary, I think that the media has brainwashed Americans, which made them scapegoat Muslims instead of trying to figure out the true source of the problem.

Do you think the media is in part responsible for this ban?

I like the way you expressed yourself and how you ended up your article. It's true, origins are what makes us unique and nobody should be deprived of opportunity because of their uniqueness!
I strongly agree with you. The travel ban was not justified at all. As I understood the issue, President Trump wanted to protect the american population from terrorism. He thought that banning 7 muslim majority countries would solve the problem. But how?
This ban does not protect the population from terrorists who are actually on the USA territory. And as I read in an article about this issue, no terrorist attacks were done by refugees from these countries. Therefore, the USA travel ban may have banned “potential terrorists”, but the odds were not really high.
It is weird to think that in the USA, some people are trying to keep the refugees away, while, in Canada, we are welcoming them with open arms. I have grown up with people with different cultural background and I have acknowledge that I should not fear what is different from me. On the other hand, some American did not have that chance and still believe that fearing what is unknown is the best thing to do.
Could the travel ban of Donald Trump be justified by this fear of the unknown?

About the author