On Jan. 28, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order banning refugees from coming into the U.S. for a period of 90 days. In Brooklyn, a federal judge blocked part of President Trump’s executive order to aid refugees with a green card.
The ban President Trump ordered affected Nadhim Zahawi, and Mo Farah. Zahawi, born in Iraq, is part of the British conservative party and a member of Parliament (MP) for Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K. Farah is an Olympic medalist who moved to Britain from Somalia when he was 8-years-old. He presently lives in Portland, Ore. Both were detained by federal agents.
On Sunday, Jan. 29, President Trump’s executive order that slammed the U.S. borders shut for refugees from seven majority Muslim countries. His directive made it impossible for thousands of immigrants, who already have green cards, to come into the country. Many have been through a long vetting process to obtain legal residency and were traveling outside the U.S., either for business or pleasure.
On Jan. 1, Farah was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of being Britain’s most outstanding athlete in the country’s Olympic history. He has spent the last six years living in America with his family as a tax paying citizen and an active member of society. Farah gave an emotional statement saying President Trump has made an Olympic gold medalist feel like an alien. Even after everything he has accomplished for Britain and his family in the U.S., he was told he may never be able to return to the land of the free again.
The British people welcomed him at a young age, and representing them in the Olympics gave him much joy and pride. He grew up in Britain realizing his dreams and having the opportunity to pursue them. Farah said he was able to achieve all of it through hard work and compassion, not confinement and hate.
In protest of Trump’s executive order preventing refugee entry into the country, an online petition circulated the internet to stop him from his proposed visit to the UK. Only 100,000 signatures were needed to have Parliament take the petition into serious consideration, the petition had over 150,000 people sign it the first day. Many people were outraged by President Trump’s attempt to keep refugees from predominately Muslim countries from crossing America’s borders.
Two men originally from Iraq, who are now American residents, were detained Saturday night in N.Y. after arriving at J.F.K. airport. The men were outraged at being detained by federal agents, so they filed a lawsuit in federal court. Judge Ann Donnelly, issued a temporary stay, to prevent anyone entering the country with a binding visa from being deported. Since Donnelly handed down the ruling, three other judges have issued similar orders.
President Trump took to his Twitter account to make a fierce defense of his actions, saying the country must have strong borders now. He referred to recent events in Europe as an example and stated that the U.S. is in a terrible mess.
With mass protests breaking out, shocked angry lawyers and politicians rushed to the aid of the refugees, who had been detained. Trump, himself, has done little to offer comfort or any empathy to an already divided nation.
The Trump administration says the U.S. needs an extreme vetting process, but the country already has an extremely thorough screening process. There is a nine-step process, including a medical exam and at least four different security checks. The Obama administration set up this process, which includes an iris scan for Syrian refugees as part of the identification process. Any immigrant wishing to become an American resident, for a better life, must first go through an extensive process before being considered for a visa.
President Trump claims he wants to protect America, but the reality of his actions is spreading confusion and fear. The message the people are getting from the Trump administration is one of hate. Moreover, the concept of being innocent until proven guilty appears to no longer be the case. By mass deportations, the premise seems more like guilty until proven innocent. Many of the American people do not like what President Trump is doing. People are scared that what they have worked so hard for is going to be ripped away from them.
By Katherine Miller
Edited Cathy Milne
NPR.org: Of Courts and Confusion: Here’s the Reaction of Trump’s Immigration Freeze
Business Insider: Mo Farrah Banned from USA, ‘Donald Trump seems to have made him an alien’
The White House; President Barak Obama: Infographic: The Screening Process for Refugee Entry into the United States
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Inline Image Courtesy of Pete Sheffield’s Flickr Page – Creative Common’s License