On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order that implemented stronger measures for seven countries’ residents to come to the US in order to prevent domestic terrorist attacks. As expected, many have protested since then. However, before criticizing, it is important to understand how the new policy affects travelers and US National Security.
This executive order states that individuals coming from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen would be detained for 90 days if they have terrorist ties.
Moreover, in order to have time to properly “review and rework immigration screening procedures”, the Trump administration has decided that refugees coming from any of those seven countries will lose their status for 120 days.
Opponents argue that the “travel ban” is discriminatory since it bans immigrants of Muslim nations, but those countries were not chosen at random. They were selected by the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 and 2016 during the Obama administration.
On Sunday, President Trump emphasized in a statement that:
“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” noting that there are at least 40 countries that are predominantly Muslim that “are not affected” by the order”
Many citizens and permanent residents are afraid that this executive order can affect them, but the Department of Homeland Security and the White House confirmed that they would not be detained and refrains from entering the state. However, green card holders would be evaluated on a “case-by-case” basis.
Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff, commented that:
“If you’re an American citizen traveling back and forth to Libya, you are likely to be subjected to further questioning when you come into an airport.”
He also noted that:
Customs and border patrol agents have “discretionary authority” when they suspect someone is “up to no good” when they travel back and forth to countries listed in the order
Trump ‘s executive order does not seem a product of a xenophobic agenda. It will require 3 months to regulate the immigration procedures to avoid terrorist attacks that affect every American security. It is true that it is harsh, but every country has the right to protect it’s borders. Besides, people should not ignore that refugees are running from radical Islamists who can pretend to need help and ask for asylum to enter the country.
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