On Jan. 27, President Trump signed an executive order banning immigration indefinitely from Syria, and putting a 90 day suspension on immigration from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. With national security as the purpose behind the order, it aimed to protect the United States from “terror prone” nations. The order faced intense backlash from many, including groups based here in Seattle, because it targeted Muslim majority countries, and could be portrayed as discriminatory.
This backlash led to a court case argued by Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and it was declared that there was not enough proof to declare refugees from these countries dangerous. This decision from Federal Judge James Robart is valid nationwide, and overturns the ban indefinitely. It is not yet known if the Trump administration will take the case to the Supreme Court.
In the Roosevelt community, many were angry about the travel ban and rejoiced over the decision overturning the order. However, not all students opposed the ban. Freshman and Vice President of the RHS Republicans, Ben Payne, supported the ban because of the political message it sent to the countries it affected. Payne says, “All of the countries on the ban have state ties to terrorism.” Although there have not actually been any attacks on American soil by refugees from these countries, Payne sees the ban as a needed message to these governments.
On the other hand, liberal arguments reference the number of terror attacks by citizens of the countries affected in the ban on American soil: 0. Most Roosevelt students take this perspective, and look at the humanitarian issues with the ban more closely than the political message it may send. Countries like Saudi Arabia which have actually been the home of terrorists was not included in the ban, many students wonder why. The answer to this is probably because of the economic ties we have with Saudi Arabia, due to their oil reserves. The fact that we left them out of the ban reinforces the idea that this ban is not truly necessary for national security, which is the reason it was declared unconstitutional.
No matter what the opinions of the Roosevelt community at large are, America was divided over the immigration ban. It has likely been the most controversial executive order signed by President Trump so far, and even though it was overturned, we definitely haven’t seen the end of it.
Photo By: Rachel Black