Political Face Off: Immigration Ban — Article 1

By Caleb Harlow

President Trump’s immigration ban has stirred up controversy and started many conversations. Many people, including myself, have attended protests and rallies at capitals across the nation to express our displeasure with this executive order for several reasons.

Trump’s order is heavily biased, with only seven countries being targets of the ban: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Even though Trump evoked the 9/11 terrorist attacks multiple times in his executive order, the terrorists who committed those attacks were from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon — all countries that Trump has business interests in. While the targeted countries do have their fair share of problems, they also happen to be countries with which Trump does not have any business ties. While the ban comes under the guise of “protection,” one of the most recent high-profile terror attacks on American soil committed by foreign terrorists was the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, committed by two terrorists from Russia, another country whose immigrants are not banned and that Trump has business ties with.

The ban is also an ineffective method of protecting Americans. The total number of Americans killed annually by Islamic Jihadi immigrants is a stunning two. The total number of Americans killed annually by any Islamic Jihadi terrorist, including US citizens, is nine. However, lawnmowers kill 69 Americans on average each year, falls from bed account for 737 deaths each year and 11,737 Americans are fatally shot by another American each year. However, none of these things — beds, lawnmowers, and certainly not guns — seem to be banned by a GOP White House, even though they pose a greater statistical threat to the average American.

Supporters have tried to defend Trump’s ban by saying that it is similar to a policy implemented in 2011 by President Obama. However, Obama’s policy only temporarily slowed the processing of refugee requests and Special Immigrant Visas. Iraqi refugees continued to be admitted, though it was at a slower pace. Obama’s 2011 policy targeted a small, specific group of people: refugees and Special Immigrant Visa applicants from Iraq, while Trump’s policy completely shuts down any and all entry from seven different countries.

As Americans, the ban goes against many of our defining values as a country. I once heard the phrase “It does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty,” and that phrase still rings true today. As Christians, we should ask, “Is banning immigrants from countries really the best way to show our Christ-like love for others?” Jesus was a refugee fleeing a state-supported genocide. (Matthew 2:14-18) Christ said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these, … you did for me.” Would we have let our own Savior into our country?