With only about a week into his presidency President Trump implemented these policies on refugees. He justified his executive order by stating that former President Barack Obama had done the same thing back in 2011.
“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”
In an article from The Washington Post, titled Trump’s facile claim that his refugee policy is similar to Obama’s in 2011 journalist Glenn Kessler looks at the truth behind this comparison.
first and foremost, President Obama did not in fact stop admission of Iraqi refugees into the United States. The admission process was simply delayed as a result of a more intense vetting process. Additionally, the more intense vetting process was adopted as a response to the arrest of two Iraqis in Kentucky.
President Obama was responding to a known threat to the nation’s national security. After an incident had occurred, the original vetting process was simply modified in order to prevent what had happened from happening again. The current ban is not in relation to any specific event or clear fact.
Next, it was never said that the Obama administration was stopping visa applications completely, just that it would be slowed. Even still, these delays were slight and went generally unnoticed to the public.
Finally, the 2011 situation did not prevent all citizens from Iraq from entering the United States–including green-card holders. There is no evidence that there was a clear halt to the admission of people from Iraq from entering the US.
In a test Kessler calls the Pinocchio test, Trump’s travel ban received three Pinocchio’s for these reasons. From this article it can be seen that Trump is having trouble justifying what he has done through the executive order. All he is trying to do is fast-track his claim that he will rid the nation of muslim terrorists, however this policy does no such thing.
The recent policies pertaining to refugees is makes it extremely difficult for anyone who needs to escape the harsh living conditions in their home countries. In this video from Vox, President Trump’s original executive order for the travel ban is explained.
The executive order is called “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” however this is not what the order is actually saying. The order bans immigrants and visa holders from seven primarily muslim countries. These countries include Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Iran and Iraq (Iraq has since been removed). The catch with this order is that none of this does anything for the United States’ national security.
There have been zero terrorist attacks by immigrants from any of these countries. Doctors, students and actors who have done nothing wrong cannot come back into the US even though they have a full right to be able to.
Although the order states that it will be in place for 120 days, Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely. This is not something that America has been known to stand for in the past. The United States was built on being a safe haven for people that can no longer survive in the countries they are living in.
Several celebrities have spoken out about the ban such as actors, singers, comedians and writers. Actress Angelina Jolie wrote an informative and insightful op-ed piece for The New York Times titled Refugee Policy Should Be Based on Facts, Not Fear. She discusses both sides of the argument in a way that it tasteful and informative.
I’m proud of our country’s history of giving shelter to the most vulnerable people. Americans have shed blood to defend the idea that human rights transcend culture, geography, ethnicity and religion. – Jolie
While it is justified to say that our country should be safe from the dangers of the world, there is no reason why the actions that are taken to ensure this safety cannot apply to others as well. It is important not only to the citizens of the US but of other nations as well that the policies that are enforced are based on facts and not fear; fear will not save anyone no matter where they are from.