Immigration ban

On Friday, January 27th (Holocaust Memorial Day), President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning all entry into the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries. This ban included U.S. citizens who had left the country to visit family, as well as desperate refugees who had finally finished the arduous vetting process only to be turned away.

Demonstrators spell out "# No Muslim Ban" during the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Demonstrators spell out “# No Muslim Ban” during the “Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders” to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The countries affected are: Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Notably excluded are: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The countries in the second group were where the majority of the 9/11 terrorists originated from which is interesting due to the fact that the ban is supposedly meant to keep terrorism out. Also notable, the excluded countries happen to be where the president has profitable businesses.

Protests broke out at airports, starting at JFK in New York City, and where people had been detained across the country, shortly after the order was signed. A New York judge, however, signed what is called a habeas corpus petition, the day after the ban was announced, deeming the detainments unconstitutional.

Trump’s acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, also refused to enforce the ban. Part of the Attorney General’s job is to stand up to the president if he or she believes his decisions are unlawful. She was immediately fired and replaced.

Recently, many tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Uber, and others, have united to take legal action against Trump’s ban, as the executive order makes it more difficult for them to recruit, hire, and continue to employ “some of the world’s best employees.” In the brief they submitted it states: “The Order represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the United States for more than fifty years.” 

The Statue of Liberty has a plague on its base. It reads, “Bring me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” America was founded by immigrants, on the principles of freedom and equality for all.

Many, many students here at Highland Park are immigrants, or the children or grandchildren of immigrants. In times like these that are scary and turbulent, when the future is uncertain, we need to stand together with our friends and show that they are safe and welcome in our school.

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