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

by OM on Mai 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.  

About the author

OM