By Syed Rahim
On Jan. 27, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that shocked the world. Trump’s executive order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To The United States,” barred the entry of passport holders from seven countries into the United States. Those countries, whose populations are majority Muslim, included Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Overnight, dozens of tourists, refugees and immigrants were detained at airports and threatened with deportation. Protests were mobilized through social media and held at airports across the nation. Teams of dedicated lawyers, with support from groups like the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) organized at airports and began offering legal aid to the detainees.
Throughout the ordeal, the administration maintained a positive attitude toward the ban.
“I think it’s a shame that people were inconvenienced, obviously, but at the end of the day, we’re talking about a couple of hours,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
“Being able to come to America is a privilege, not a right,” Spicer emphasized. “We have to wait in lines, too.”
Though the ban had been temporarily blocked by the US District Court, the U.S. Government filed an appeal. On Feb. 9, a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled against reinstating the ban.
“SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE,” furiously tweeted President Trump in response to the decision.
Rather than further the original ban in court, Trump has responded by writing an entirely new, revised executive order. Though the new order was expected to be signed on Feb. 23, it was delayed by a week to ensure its quality. Then, when the ban was to be signed on Mar. 1, the ban was further delayed in order to maximize on good press from the president’s well received address to Congress.
Legal experts countrywide are voicing their opinions on the ban. “The court agreed that the president and Congress have significant power in this area, but that whenever constitutional rights are involved, courts have the authority to review the government action,” commented US History teacher John Holly, who has been an active member of the California Bar since 1981. “This idea is critical to the separation of government power, which is designed to prevent tyranny.”
Though the future of the travel ban remains unclear, the present reality is certain. Americans nationwide are directing their anger at the president and his administration for arguably executing an order that unfairly targets a certain religion.
“When the government treats people differently based on religion, the government has a heavy burden to prove that discrimination is necessary to promote an important interest,” said Mr. Holly.
“Personally, I think that the executive order was hastily constructed, and I think it unfairly targeted countries that are majority Muslim,” commented World History teacher David Andrews. “America is a country comprised of immigrants. I think that it’s the wrong approach to attempt to keep our country safe.”