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The Announcer

Travel ban leads to variety of reactions

Eileen Wisniowicz, Staff Writer

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On January 27th, President Trump banned 7 Muslim-majority countries’ citizens from entering the U.S. for 90 days, along with suspending the admission of refugees for 120 days. This was done in the hopes of preventing terror attacks in the U.S. As of February, 3rd, the ban has been temporarily blocked; however, opinions are split and many people believe this fearing just a racist “Muslim-ban” are still speaking out against it.

For starters, the countries on the ban list–Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya–all expressed concern over the seemingly biased order. These countries note that Americans are still welcomed into their countries, the ban is playing into the accusations from terrorist groups that the U.S. is waging a war on Muslims, it breaks trust with key allies in the war on ISIS, and that the ban shows “swagger and arrogance” on the U.S.’s part, which could possibly lead to conflicts with different countries.

On one hand, polls show that a majority of Americans (53 percent) are in support of the immigration ban. However, while many people are in support of the ban, it seems a very low percent of these supporters speak publicly in favor of it. The people that do speak in favor of it mention that President Trump is a “go-getter” and that if he says he’ll do something then he will which his supporters adore. One supporter, Jim Buterbaugh, the head of custodial work at a public school in the western Montana town of White Hall points out that, “We’re not the world’s Social Security office. We’re not here to take care of people” as quoted by Time.com.

On the other hand, many people who have already sought refuge in the U.S. worry about future refugees who won’t be granted the same opportunities they were. Many refugees discuss how they escaped traumatic events and in many cases death, by coming to the U.S. Continually, they were also granted the chance to rebuild their lives by receiving jobs and raising families in peace and safety. They say with President Trump’s ban, and the further orders he might put in place would enable others from the same opportunities.

  Finally, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who work hard in protecting groups of people under discrimination, spoke out against the ban as well. On their website, http://www.csjoseph.org/default.aspx, they have published a letter expressing their concerns over the ban and how the ban threatens us all as a nation. Furthermore, one of the sisters from the Nazareth community, Sister Pat Bergen, points out that none of the citizens from these countries have ever committed a crime in the U.S. and that the stigma around Muslims have caused hate crimes towards Muslims to escalate by 67% since the election.

She continues in discussing how she remembered learning about a ship called the “SS St. Louis,” carrying 900 Jewish people trying to escape Nazi Germany. These people had legal papers, but were refused refuge in Cuba and the U.S. This forced them to return to Europe and years later it was discovered that most of the passengers had died in gas chambers. The U.S. said, “Never again!” and immigration and refugee policies were formed as a result. In connecting this story with the current situation, Sister Pat said, “I wept when I saw that Syrian refugees, after going through years of vetting, were refused entrance into our country, only to be returned to Syria where their lives are endangered.” These people had saved for years in the hope of a better life.
 Sister Pat ended with a strong statement and call for everyone: “Whoever calls themselves Jewish, Christian or Muslim, claims to live the law of Love: Love God. . . and Love your neighbor as yourself. The measure of our love for God is reflected in the depth of our love for others. Those lawyers who heard this code in their hearts and got on trains and subways to help at airports across the nation, those companies that sent their IT people to airports, those companies which sent computers to airports to be a loving presence responded.  What is our response?  These times are calling for us to stand up and show our soul.”

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