Travel ban excludes clear logic

Trump’s plan ignores threats inside own country

by Kyle Gehman, Editor-In-Chief

The TV turns on. Another mass shooting scrolls across the news bar. 49 people are killed by one man. Before dying he pledged his allegiance to ISIS. It is the largest terror attack since 9/11. However, this time, it was done by an American, not a foreigner, not an immigrant. Despite the fact that most terror attacks in the United States are conducted by Americans, President Trump has announced his revised travel ban.

President Trump first released his plan to block immigrants from several countries last January. It was met with stiff resistance and was criticized for being anti-Muslim as well as unconstitutional; however, on Monday, Trump announced that a revised version of the ban was signed and will take effect March 16.

The ban consists of a few things to be aware of. First, it denies visas for any immigrant from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iran and Yemen for 90 days and it also denies any refugees for entering the country for 120 days. However, unlike the last ban, it does not stop any residents or immigrants who have already obtained visas from entering the country. The revision excludes Iraq from the ban and changed the plan to not allow Syrians into the country indefinitely. The hope is that during this time, the American government will be able to better revise the vetting process.

So, the reason for the travel ban to not allow immigrants and refugees who are trying to escape persecution by radical groups, families who are being bombed out of their houses and kids who have witnessed more death than any of us can imagine into the nation’s borders is to prevent terror attacks as seen in Germany, France and Belgium from happening. A Berlin truck attack which killed 12 people this past December was committed by a Tunisian man. In France during November, 130 people were killed in coordinated attacks and 8 out of 10 of the terrorists were of European citizenship. In Belgium where 32 civilians were killed in attacks at an airport and metro station, 4 out of the 5 terrorists were born in Europe.

However, all of these terrorists were Muslims, which is why the ban has been placed on countries with large Muslim populations. The major problem with this ban, though, is that just because these countries’ people who may be potential terrorists are stopped, it does not prevent terrorism. President Trump and his administration are ignoring the fact that terrorism is not associated with a country. Out of the past 36 Muslim extremists who have attacked inside the United States, 18 were born here. 14 came here as kids and would not have been stopped by the new vetting process, according to Charles Kurzman, a professor at the University of North Carolina. This leaves only 4 terrorists who do not fit into these categories. At the same time, none of the 36 have came from the banned nations. Muslim extremists have accounted for 123 deaths since 9/11 compared to the 240,000 other murders in that same time period.

Trump needs to get his priorities straight. People are being murdered because citizens have access to an excessive and unneeded amount of firearms, but instead of reducing gun rights, he created the travel ban. In one year alone 102 unarmed black people were killed by the police, but instead of trying to cut down racial discrimination in our country, he created the travel ban. Just because our president is caught up in the increase of Islamophobia and xenophobia, it doesn’t give him the excuse to blatantly ignore the more important and dramatic issues for our nation’s safety.

While I understand the need to stop radical Islamic terrorization in the United States and elsewhere, I can’t comprehend why it also had to be at the expense of refugees and immigrants who are in need. The United States needs to remain a beacon of hope, where freedom and democracy is abundant for all no matter religion, race, ethnicity or origin. Without this, we cannot continue to utter the phrase “American dream” or assert world power in the name of democracy and independence when we can’t even practice it right here at home.