Last week, President Trump signed an executive order that banned citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. It puts a halt on immigration for 90 days and places a permanent ban on immigrants coming from Syria. Reactions to the immigration ban were mostly negative, both in and out of the U.S. The world has been closely watching the development of this issue, which has kickstarted a series of chain reactions: multiple protests in airp
orts around the country, Attorney General Sally Q. Yates being fired after she refused to defend the ban, and roughly two dozen lawsuits directly challenging the ban. Other executive orders have targeted immigrants coming into the country from Mexico.
While this order was to ostensibly protect people within the United States, it goes against many of the principles that the country was built on. The United States has always been a country for people in distress to flock to. The “land of opportunity” should not be flatly banning people from countries simply because those counties have ties to terrorist activities or instability. These are usually the reasons that people are trying to get out of these countries. Looking back through American history, it is clear to see that immigrants have always been a major part of the country, and now is no different.
What is important at a time like this is to work together. The protests against the executive orders show that there is a large number of people that do not agree with President Trump’s actions. This idea of cooperation and working through problems has been a topic we’ve discussed in previous editorials, but only due to its importance. A perfect example of cooperation in these difficult times is the NoBanJFK, a group of “of attorneys, translators, and other volunteers representing non-profit organizations, private firms, and passionate individuals” (@NoBanJFK) that has gathered at the JFK airport for the last seven days. They are responsible for over twenty lawsuits challenging the ban, and they have created a hotline in case anyone flying into the airport needs assistance.
Taking effective action is the best way to fight the injustice that surrounds us. The Women’s March might have started the conversation, but it is time now to get to work.