Trump Travel Ban

Riley Tebbetts and Nathan Dubrow

Before Trump was elected to the Presidency of the United States, one of his main driving points was having strict policies on people from certain countris entering the country. His idea was to have a ban on Muslim people from countries in the Middle East. He stated that the U.S. was too lenient on letting anybody into the country and that there was potential danger from people arriving in the United States as refugees and immigrants. The question of creating and implementing such a bill is whether or not it’s constitutional and if it’s morally right.

When Trump was sworn into office, one of his first executive orders as President was to create a ban on people entering the United States from seven countries in the Middle East. All of them were predominantly Muslim countries, which was as expected. This caused many problems due to it looking like it was a ban on religion. The claim from Trump was that it was a ban on the seven specific countries because they are hot-spots for terrorism, and cited 9/11 as a major reason for the ban. However, it is noted than none of the terrorists from 9/11 were from any of these countries. The seven countries listed were Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

These countries do have problems with terrorism, but there were also other major countries that have issues with terrorism that had been left off the list. Three countries that have big ties to terrorism, but had been ignored, are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. The problem with this is that nearly all the terrorists from 9/11 were from these three countries. Although the idea of keeping terrorists out of our country from the listed seven is a good idea, a lot of the validity was lost when he brought up 9/11 as an example for the banning based on the listed countries. It has also been found that the three big countries that aren’t listed are countries that Trump does business with, or has had other interests in. This seems to show a conflict of interest within the executive order and Trump. Conflicts of interest are something that must be left out of the Oval Office and away from the United States as a country.

A big thought that has been brought up was whether or not the ban on travel was in violation of the Constitution. Since our country is based on religious freedom, it wouldn’t be right to create a ban that restricted people of a certain religion. The religion in question is of course Islam. There are many problems surrounding this delicate subject, and throughout our country there are many different thoughts about it. Some think that all people of the Islamic faith are horrible people and terrorists that should be treated as such. Others know that very few are like this. No matter the fact, it is known that you cannot ban an entire group of people due to what they believe in religiously. Of course, the executive order did not state that it was a ban on the religion of Islam, but it could be seen that it was implied. Trump’s big claim during his campaign trail was that Muslims had to go. Due to his ideas, it is a fairly safe bet to say that the order was placed as a well thought out attempt to limit the religion of Islam from getting into the United States. Before he was elected, he said it was an attempt “for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” This just goes to prove that his underlying reason for the travel ban was to make it harder for Muslims to get into the country from those seven countries. The question of the constitutionality of the order questioned due to these facts.

Presidents are able to put a ban on travel from a particular place if the country is of imminent threat to the safety of the United States. The ban can not be due in part to religiousness. Due to the part about Trump proclaiming that the ban would be in place to keep Muslims from getting into the country, a federal judge, James Robart, ruled that it was not constitutional to have such a ban placed on the seven countries. He said that the “Constitution prevailed”, and that, “No one is above the law, not even the President.” The travel ban has yet to be fully reviewed, but as of now, people from the seven listed countries are free to travel to the United States. We asked a fellow student, who hails from Lebanon, “Given that you have roots in the targeted region, how does this make you feel personally?” He responded, “I do not really care. It shouldn’t be a thing because it’s not going to solve any problems.” Other people around school agree that the ban is not the right answer. The ban, whether a way to keep Muslims out or to keep the country safe, appears as if it still doesn’t have a place in our modern America.