On Monday, Donald Trump signed a new executive order barring immigrants from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days and suspending the entry of some refugees for 120 days. But it carves out many exceptions and is less sweeping than the original travel ban. A federal judge in Hawaii struck down the ban on Wednesday, hours before it was to go into effect. Does the president have the power to ban people from a certain country, is it really a Muslim ban, and is this temporary travel ban truly necessary to protect us from terrorism?
While many on the left and in the news media have alleged that the president does not have the power to temporarily ban immigration from certain countries, this is just not true. Section 1182(f) of Title 8 of the U.S. Code grants the president the ability to suspend the entry of, “all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants” so long as the president declares them “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Clearly, the president has the power given to him to suspend immigration from certain countries for a period of time.
Also, 6 other presidents besides Trumps have issued executive orders temporarily banning immigration from certain countries. When Obama was president he banned immigration from Iraqi for a period of time and everyone on the left was fine with it. Also, when the others presidents banned immigration there was no outcry in the media and no litigation in the courts. Could it be that because Trump is a Republican and is hated by the left and the news media that they are so up in arms about his travel ban?
Many on the left have alleged that Trump’s new temporary travel ban is a Muslim ban, but this could not be further from the truth. First, the six countries with the highest Muslim populations are nowhere to be found on this ban. Second, while Trump’s old travel ban allowed Christians from the banned countries to still come into the U.S., Trump’s new travel ban gives absolutely no preference to anyone based on his religion. Also, the new temporary travel ban still allows green card holders into the United States. In addition, in the new executive order, the word Muslim is nowhere to be found. This executive order clearly has nothing to do with banning people of a certain faith but with keeping U.S. citizens safe from terrorism.
I believe that this temporary travel ban is very necessary to protect the U.S. from terrorism. Right now our vetting process to screen people coming into the United States is very week and has many flaws in it. By putting this temporary ban in place, it will give us time to improve and update our vetting process. Once we have a more thorough vetting process we can again allow immigration from these countries. People will try to argue that our vetting process is fine, but this is very false. There are many documented cases of the problems with our vetting process. One case report from the Department of Homeland Security found that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), due to database errors, erroneously naturalized almost 900 ineligible illegal aliens, who were going to be deported.
As Americans, we have been blessed with much, and I believe that we have a moral responsibility to allow immigrants into our country. While we should allow immigrants into the United States, we do have a moral obligation to protect our own and make sure that the people we are allowing into our country are not dangerous criminals or terrorists. This is what Trump’s new temporary travel ban does. It gives us time to fix our vetting process so we can be sure we are letting good people into our country who will become productive members of society.