Trump’s ‘travel ban’ finds both support, resistance

By William Watson
Staff Writer

On Jan. 27, President Trump signed an executive order imposing a 90-day ban on immigration from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

There is some confusion over the specifics of the so-called “ban”; however, it was something he did mention during his campaign.

“He did say he’d do that on the campaign trail,” said Aleah Phillips, graduate Internship Coordinator. “He went through with it. He’s going off what he promised.”

People have differing thoughts on the matter, but they are not as black and white as some might think.

“I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction that is having international impact on friends and folks,” said Gloria Horning, visiting lecturer in the Department of Communication. “The country has seen this before when we stopped Jews from coming into the country during World War II, and putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps, and the same with the Native Americans with the Founding Fathers.”

George Fredericks, pastor of First Baptist Church of Jay, said, “I’m not opposed to it. I think it was done for protecting our country because the problem is, in the mix of these people, there are some in these groups that have a sinister motive.

“The government never checks on this,” Fredericks said. “It’s been pretty poor. I don’t want to hurt people, and I don’t care how they feel. We need to protect the country. Wisdom says we put this ban in effect temporarily until better procedures are in place.

“Trump is not the only president to do this. Obama did this. Bill Clinton and others have done this. This is not something that is brand new.”

However, others can see it from both sides of the issue.

Hannah Samarripa, senior textbook associate in the campus bookstore, said, “I think it’s contradictory to what America was founded on. I think the whole Democratic-Republican thing is limiting. I think there’s definitely more to my views than one or the other.”

Adam Cayton, assistant professor in the Department of Government, said, “Well, there are two big questions: whether it’s legal and whether it’s a good idea. Both are debatable. For legality, the Immigration Law gives the president discretion over the law, over the country.

“On the other hand, it’s not legal to discriminate based on nationality, race, or origin when deciding. Several immigration laws contradict each other. This is not an outright ban based on religion.

“The easier challenge is the ‘nation of origin’ issue. The ban lists seven nations. As far as whether it’s a good idea, I won’t tell people what they should think. Providing safe refuge versus a perceived risk for the public. The issue of whether or not it’s legal depends on if they come down on it or not.

“This is definitely new. We haven’t banned countries for quite a long time. It’s a major departure in this policy.”

Jacob Shively, assistant professor of government, said the ban seems to be “unnecessary and counterproductive.”

“Despite wide public fears, there was no solid evidence that terrorists were abusing the refugee and immigration system to gain access to the United States,” Shively said via email. “In addition, the administration is adding more exceptions to the ban.

“At the end of the 90 days, we may end up with basically the same policy as before. The ban also might become a public relations fail. For instance, like the botched rollout of the ‘Obamacare’ website, this abrupt implementation seems ill-planned. More importantly, the United States is seen around the world as an open, multicultural society.”

This ban communicates a different message, he said, and makes cooperation difficult for possible partners and allies in the targeted countries. “Further, the United States contributed to the region’s instability starting in 2003. Cutting off refugees, particularly from Iraq, looks problematic. Economically and scientifically, of course, the ban puts a burden on businesses and universities that try to recruit talent from around the world.”

For the time being, the viewpoints differ drastically. However, many are aware of the disdain towards opposing views.

“You can see the impact Trump is already having, attempting to have on our Constitution. It’s just about human rights,” Horning said. “Love thy neighbor.

“The backlash with us shining the light on stereotypes and scare tactics are very dangerous actions. Soon, it won’t be one person on a soapbox. It will be a mass of people on the street.”

Samarripa said, “I think there’s going to be as much political unrest than in the past, but a lot more people are aware of it. You can expect more protesting, and hopefully things will be revised before they pass.”

Phillips said, “I feel like it’s unconstitutional. You’re setting aside people who have religion or green cards, and they can’t get back into the country. It’s not a ‘ban,’ but it is what Trump said and what the documents say. Those who voted for him like it. Those who didn’t, don’t.”

Shively said he does not see “any immediate constitutional issues” but is aware of those who disagree with his views. “The administration disagrees with my view, as do many Trump supporters,” Shively said. “For them, the point of the ban is meeting a campaign promise.”