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The Power of Unity is Stopping Trump's Immigration Ban

posted on: Feb 15, 2017

BY: Stephanie Yasi Farokhi/Contributing Writer

“You will not be able to get to your destination at this time.”

Similar statements have been made to individuals en route to the United States in the past few weeks. Fortuitously, three federal judges have recently overturned President Trump’s executive orders banning refugees vetted by the United Nations and the U.S., legal green card holders, legal visa holders, as well as dual citizens from Iran, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and Iraq from entering the U.S..

Proving just how far resistance and unity can go, a federal appeals court on Thursday refused to reinstate President Trump’s travel ban. Three federal judges from the San Francisco based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block a lower-court ruling, which suspended the ban, thus restoring some faith in humanity and leading to tearful reunions at airports across the country. The court affirmed that the ban unconstitutionally blocked admittance to individuals based on their religion.

Predictably, after the verdict, President Trump took to Twitter to express his anger with the federal appeals court ruling. In all caps, the President of the United States explicated, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

Despite this tweet, the White House put out a statement asserting that it would not challenge an appeals court ruling in the Supreme Court at this time. Rather than acknowledging the unjust nature of the ban, the Trump administration expressed that it will instead file a similar, brand new order.

Thousands of Americans took to the streets to protest the unconstitutional travel ban. Indiscriminately chosen by the Trump administration, the seven Muslim-majority countries selected in the ban had unequivocally nothing to do with protecting the national security of the American people, but rather had everything to do with xenophobia, Islamophobia, fear mongering, and white supremacy. President Trump made this clear the moment he stated, “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Rather than protecting the U.S. national security like Trump and his supporters claimed to be achieving, the discriminatory executive order was only generating the terrorists it claimed to be obstructing. The order feeds into the ideology of an “us versus them” conviction concerning Christian, Western culture and Islam. The ban can be essentially viewed as an attack on Islam.

Most preposterously, though, is that no citizen from any of the seven banned countries has ever committed an act of terror on American soil. Rather, Iranian, Syrian, Yemini, Somalian, Iraqi, and Sudanese immigrants within the United States have only been vital assets to the overall well being of the country.

Outside of Iran, for example, the largest Iranian diaspora can be found in Los Angeles, California. Iranian Americans have been nothing but added value to America’s economy and society overall with their businesses and highly educated community members.

Residents of Southeast Michigan attend a “Yalla Eat” tour of Dearborn’s Arab American owned restaurants and businesses.

Furthermore, regardless of whether a country’s government has promoted terrorism or not should not matter in national security strategies. The illegal ban was directed at innocent civilians who have absolutely nothing to do with the actions of their governments. There was factually nothing justifiable about this order. It would be analogous to banning an innocent American from going to Canada because the Canadian government has a problem with the ideology of the U.S. government or the Christian-majority populous of America.

In the end, it can be seen that despite the unjust nature of the travel ban, when communities resist, they win. In this case, they won through the ruling of last Thursday’s U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The thousands of Americans who took to airports and the streets to express their anger towards the ban achieved a victory because within a matter of only weeks, it was lifted.

While this is certainly a win for many, the fight is far from over. It may be difficult to remain positive when numerous individuals are being attacked because of their national origin or religious beliefs alone, but Muslims, as well as people of color in the U.S., must continue to stand united at this time. It is critical that the Muslim American population and its allies continue to resist and never accept this injustice as the status quo.