Immigration restraints target many


Contributed by Ranna Shahbazi

Protestors of the immigration restriction present their views on powerful posters.

Ranna Shahbazi, Contributing Writer

About two months ago, I had the privilege of speaking in front of the school about my Iranian American identity on Asking for Courage day. My speech focused on the idea that despite our diversity, we are all similar and should be treated as equals based on our individual merits.
It just so happened that around this time, President Donald Trump had begun discussing how he was going to implement his campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the United States, which directly opposed my views on acceptance. At the time, I didn’t take his threat seriously. I thought that it was just another nonsensical and unimaginable statement that he couldn’t possibly enact. Obviously, I was wrong.
Within the first week of his presidency, President Trump signed an executive order which he claimed would keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of our country. The countries affected were Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia, all of which are Muslim majority countries.
He claimed that this ban was not a ban on Muslims, and on the surface, he is absolutely correct. There are many other predominantly Muslim countries in the world that are not listed as part of this ban. However, this does not change the fact that he specifically targeted a group of people. Given the fact that he had a rhetoric against Muslims during his campaign, his explanation for the executive order was thinly disguised as a security measure.
President Trump stresses the need for national security as the main objective for this order and therein lies the biggest hole in his logic. None of the designated countries have ever committed an act of terror on United States soil, and yet, many of the countries that are not listed have perpetrated such acts.
For example, 15 out of the 19 9/11 attackers came from Saudi Arabia; the others came from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. The Boston bombers were Chechens from Russia (one was a U.S. citizen, the other was not). The San Bernardino shooters were from Pakistan (one was from Chicago, the other was a U.S. citizen). Many more have been homegrown, US-born citizens.
Therefore, it is blatantly obvious to me that despite the administration’s pretensions to prioritize our national security, this ban does nothing of the sort. In fact, I believe that it does the opposite. In this critical time that we are confronting terror around the world, President Trump is alienating the very population that is crucial for this battle. Sadly, it seems that the reasoning behind our President’s act is just to fulfill his racist campaign promise.
All of this being said, I do not think anyone should ever be banned from entering our country. The United States is a place founded on immigration and freedom, and regardless of how much power President Trump has, he shouldn’t have the authority to discriminate so carelessly against someone’s heritage. Not only does this violate our very constitution, but it’s disrespectful and immoral.
We should never treat citizens of another nation as inferiors simply because of our political prejudices. Governments may differ and some may show animosities towards one another, but this shouldn’t be a reflection of us citizens. We are human beings, and in our darkest times, we need love to rise up. We are America, and as an American, I want people to know that using power to do good is much more instrumental to our progress than using power to segregate.