By Rachael Shah
Texas has become the first state to show support toward President Trump’s travel ban and it is extremely disheartening that our home state would partake in such blatant Islamophobia.
For those of you who have not been paying attention, Trump decided to halt travel and immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Anyone arriving from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen face a 90-day visa suspension. There is also an indefinite ban on all Syrian refugees.
“This is not about religion. This is about terror and keeping our country safe,” President Donald Trump said via Facebook.
As much as I would love to believe Trump’s ban is not a demeaning and derogatory course of action, I cannot be so naïve.
If you look at the most recent terror attacks in the United States, many were carried out by U.S. nationals or citizens from countries not included in the ban.
According to BBC.com, the following were responsible for recent terrorist attacks:
- Fort Lauderdale airport shooting (January 2017):A U.S. citizen
- Orlando nightclub shooting (June 2016):A U.S. citizen with Afghan parents
- San Bernardino shooting (December 2015):A U.S. citizen with Pakistani parents, and a Pakistani citizen
- Chattanooga shootings (July 2015):A Kuwait-born U.S .citizen
- Charleston church shooting (June 2015):A U.S. citizen
- Boston marathon bombing (April 2013):Two Russian citizens with Chechen ethnicity
Knowing this information, I am confused as to why Trump decided to ban countries that have posed little to no threat to the United States. If Trump truly wanted to protect the American people, wouldn’t he at the very least include countries where terrorists have stemmed from?
Trump cited 9/11 as one of the events to inspire the travel ban. However, this claim makes no sense.
According BBC, “none of the 19 hijackers who committed the attacks came from countries included in the suspension. They were from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon.”
It is astounding Trump did not include those countries in the ban. It is also extremely unsettling Trump has business ties in the countries where the hijackers responsible for 9/11 stemmed from.
America’s safety is important, but banning countries that are working against ISIS is astonishing. Many Muslim Middle-Eastern individuals do not support terrorism and are continually fighting to disarm extremists. America should be offering support toward countries like Iran and Iraq—not banning them.
“In my opinion, this is just a huge mistake in terms of counterterrorism cooperation,” said Daniel Benjamin, formerly the State Department’s top counterterrorism official. “For the life of me, I don’t see why we would want to alienate the Iraqis when they are the ground force against ISIS.”
Several states such as Washington and Minnesota see remarkable discrepancies within Trump’s ban and have filed briefs against the order. However, Texas has become the first and only state to support Trump.
“The law makes it very clear that the president has discretion to protect the safety of the American people and our nation’s institutions,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who filed the amicus brief backing Trump. “The safety of the American people and the security of our country are President Trump’s major responsibilities.”
Paxton and Trump seem to forget immigrants once established the “nation’s institutions” these two men seem to care so much about. Although the President has the right to protect the American people, he does not have the right to implement unjust orders that could potentially harm America’s safety.
To ban millions of people from entering a country that thrives on being a melting pot is ridiculous. Trump is going against everything America stands for, and I don’t understand why Texas is showing support towards him.
I am ashamed Texas is the only state to support the travel ban. Texas showing its support suggests certain officials like Paxton have discriminatory mindsets. It also implies Paxton has done very little research in regards to the ban. Do your own research, and do not rely on government officials as your main sources of information.
-Rachael Shah is an electronic media junior