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Polar Politics: The refugee problem

February 9, 2017


“Don’t believe everything you read”

In the most recent wave of controversies flowing from the White House, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 27 titled “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To The United States” which I will break down in every aspect to show how inconsequential the order will be to American values.

Individuals in most media outlets would like to represent this as the end of American values and the rise of fascism in the United States. False. Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which allows the president to suspend entry of any class of alien which they see as detrimental, which nearly every president has exercised since Carter.

The common rebuttal lies in the Supreme Court decision on the Establishment Clause which states, “the clearest command of the Establishment Clause is that one religious denomination cannot be officially preferred over another.” This argument coincides with Democrats like Senator Chuck Schumer who supported halting Syrian refugees over security concerns in 2015.

Stop calling it a “Muslim ban” or a ban on the religion of Islam; interestingly, the Obama Administration identified this list of seven nations, which Trump’s administration banned from the US on a temporary basis of 90 days. These countries serve as the most dangerous to travel from, hence the temporary ban.

Special cases who still possess a I-551, or “A Green Card,” remain unaffected by this order in any form or fashion.

The Department of Homeland Security will enforce “the first 30 days of this order to perform a country by country review of the information each country provides when their citizens apply for a U.S. visa or immigration benefit.”

After those 30 days expire, the next 60 will allow for the countries to comply with any requests from the U.S. government that way they can improve the quality of the information given to the U.S. to ensure safety.

Concerns across the country still surround the number allowed to the United States, which in fiscal year of 2017 will become 50,000. Although this reduction from Obama’s 110,000 a year refugee policy it returns to the actual norm which George W. Bush operated under for his tenure as president. This departure from the norm originally came from the Obama administration, not the Trump Administration.

The intense hysteria surrounding this issue shows the ridiculousness mainstream media outlets empower whenever they see an opportunity to exploit reality to make it fit their fiction. When CNN and other news media sites claim that this bans an entire religion, this creates a hysteria out of a falsehood.

The fact remains, only 109 became detained out of 325,000 entering the U.S. which since their release became met with almost no coverage. The facts remain hard to find in the world of fiction called mainstream media in the United States, which those presented previously required digging just to find with clickbait articles taking the forefront. I implore all readers to please read the executive order for themselves and try to see any essence of a Muslim Ban as the media would lead you to believe.

This order initially intends to implement the utmost safety for U.S. citizens, which seem like valid concerns, especially when claims by news outlets like CNN or the Huffington Post  drive public debate with simply false “facts.” When the simplicity of this order gets contorted to become something arbitrarily false from those we entrust with the freedom of press to present objective fact, that demeans true American values, not the order which gets the blame.


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    “Tear down the wall”

    President Donald Trump issued an executive order on January 27 banning all residents of  Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the United States. This decision, as abrupt and unprecedented as it may see, makes up a long American tradition of xenophobic and bigoted border restrictions. Rulers justified each law on outright racism, and eugenics, the debunked racist pseudo-science of breeding “undesirable” traits out of the human population.

    Under racist immigration laws not repealed until 1965, all eight of my great-grandparents entered the United States illegally, or in a few of their cases, as part of the slim margin of  the “acceptable underclass.” Under all of these discriminatory and bigoted law systems, legislators justified themselves through nativist appeals, calling for an “America First” policy, stressing, as President Calvin Coolidge phrased it, that “America must be kept American.”

    Ironically though, each successive generation of immigrants banned by this racist legislation, from the Germans to the Irish to the Chinese, has situated itself fully into American culture and then turned around, ignoring their own origins, and making the same nativist appeals which plagued the lives of their ancestors. Today Americans can see only the latest iteration of this great historical cycle, with Hispanics and Arab Muslims banned for vague, politically-charged, oxymoronic “crimes” like “stealing jobs” and for untrue claims of terrorism. As Jean-Baptiste Karr said, “The more things change, the more things stay the same.”

    These racist and nativist appeals often take the form of fear-mongering, proto-fascist arguments about the “dangers” of foreign immigrants. Nowhere can Americans see this more than in President Trump’s new executive order, and, in fact, his entire campaign. Under the guise of security, President Trump has played into a recurring pattern in American history, which can lead to the United States passively enabling, and even encouraging, terror and genocide.

    The most infamous and horrible example of this surely comes from World War Two, when America turned away thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust for fear of them spying for the Nazi regime, coming to destroy America. Sound familiar? Using the same rhetoric seen today, President Franklin Roosevelt aided the Nazis in slaughtering thousands upon thousands of Jews in what the world would come to see as the greatest crime of human against human in all of history.

    The saddest fact of these accusations, against the Japanese, the Jews, and now the Syrains, remains that none of them have even a grain of truth. In reality, Syrian refugees will more likely to help fight an ISIS agent than to fight as one. Americans fear terrorism entirely too much as things stand, to a level that lies completely disproportionate to its actual threat level. Zero immigrants from the seven countries Trump banned have carried out terroristic attacks on the United States, but more importantly, even if the number of Syrian refugee terrorists in the United States numbered in the dozens, it would not matter.

    The word “terrorism” coming from “terror” may seem an obvious fact. However, in this obvious fact one can see a truth so blatant most Americans overlook it for its fine details. In 2014, only 18 people died in terroristic attacks on U.S. soil. Vending machines have killed twice as many.

    The United States turned away Jewish refugees during the Holocaust for similar reasons used to turn away victims of ISIS genocide now. Even if only Syrian refugees committed foreign terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, which, as I said before remains patently false, the actual number of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil would mean the aid provided would vastly outweigh the costs. In fact, a non-Muslim domestic terrorist, one born and bred in the United States, would more likely kill me than any Muslim or foreign-born terrorist.

    The climate of, aptly, terror in the United States does not come from a vast, outside enemy that seeks to infiltrate our borders, but instead from the creation of a climate of terror by the media. To quote a clever phrase I saw in this political cartoon: “the easiest way to stop terrorism’s grip on America is to turn off the TV”.

    America has a media engine fully focused on creating paper-selling fear and terror, all at the expense of victims of actual genocide. The vast majority of ISIS’s victims are Muslims, despite the hype of ISIS as an evil organization bent on the destruction of America. So then, President Trump, if by some strange accident of fate you end up reading this, please tell me how the victims of an actual genocide, an actual holocaust happening in the modern day, come second to the unfounded, racist interests of a few misinformed TV commentators and those that eat their words.

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