Refugee Ban: Obama vs. Trump

By Milcah Tefera

This past Friday, President Trump closed the nation’s borders to refugees around the world. Predominantly Muslim-majority countries, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya were the countries targeted. The current ban prohibits citizens from these specific countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days and suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days.

Yesterday, President Trump stated: “My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.” Though Trump is using Obama’s previous ban to justify his own, the comparison of the two is facile.

In 2011, the Obama Administration did put a temporary halt on the Iraqi refugee program for six months. However, the ban didn’t affect green card holders or anyone with a visa. When in contrast, Trump’s current ban affects all citizens in the seven countries targeted on any visa level. Trump also ordered Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims, while Obama favored no religion over the next.

Senior Alona Arneson shares her perspective on the comparison of the two orders, stating: “To compare the ban implemented by Trump to Obama is like comparing apples and oranges. Obama enacted a ban on a single country, Iraq, based on specific threat information whereas Trump manifested a policy banning immigrants from seven different countries, based on no specific threat information, except his own bigoted hate and disgust for an entire faith. How do you like them apples?”

Ultimately, having an opinion is important and necessary, but it’s important to educate yourself on issues you take a stand on before speaking. Don’t be like our President and make false statements before properly informing yourself. Stay alert, aware, and most importantly, stay educated.

On Friday January 27th, President Trump placed an executive order to ban citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Photo courtesy of Pop Sugar.

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