Having been elected to office with a large reliance on inflammatory anti-immigration rhetoric, Donald Trump revealed that he was not all talk by issuing a travel ban on the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries within the first week of his term. After a panel of federal judges blocked the executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” Trump made it clear that he would not give up by issuing Travel Ban 2.0, with the same title, on March 6.
On March 15, a federal judge in Hawai’i, followed by a second federal judge in Maryland, ruled against the watered-down second ban, citing “a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose” as his reasoning. An enflamed Donald Trump lashed out at the decision at a rally in Nashville, Tennessee.
The President’s tone was reactionary as he made it clear that he would not back down on the issue, adding that he would take it to the Supreme Court if he had to. Throughout the speech, his mannerisms, appeal to populist notions, and disregard for the judicial institutions of the United States are revealing of the autocrat he wishes to be.
As stated by the aforementioned federal judges, both travel bans were barred because they specifically target people from Muslim-majority countries. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution clearly prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion—banning visitors or immigrants based on religion is clearly unconstitutional.
Furthermore, Trump’s actions are against the principles of the United States—they are un-American. From its inception, immigrants have built America and ever since immigrants from all around the globe have shaped and enriched its culture. The naturalization process is rigid in its current structure. Placing further limitations will only hinder America’s progress.
Nonetheless, if Trump truly wishes to reform America’s migration policy, he must pursue routes within the realm of rationality. His travel bans, evocative of authoritarians in other parts of the world, clearly display that his actions are based on impulse rather than logic. If the betterment of the nation is one of his primary motives, Trump must make a bipartisan analysis of immigration policy a top priority.
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