Civil war and political violence have forced millions of helpless civilians to declare themselves refugees and embark into a life of uncertainty that often ends up in tragic consequences. President Donald Trump’s unprecedented executive order on Friday barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, which is headlined as Muslim Refugee Ban, will further deteriorate the global refugee crisis. Although it has not been announced how many more countries will face the ban, Trump administration’s aggressive and tough immigration policies will certainly make the list pretty long. President Trump’s decision to shut the American door to refugees ironically invalidates former President Obama’s promise of accepting 110,000 refugees which he made at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York last year. Calling the global refugee crisis a “test of our common humanity,” Obama urged world leaders to open their borders for the people fleeing from war-torn Middle Eastern and Northern Africans nations. Germany and Canada offered remarkable support for the helpless people and still now accepting refugees in record number. The US was supposed to accept the 110,000 refugees from Oct. 1 this year: the Muslim refugee ban throws that policy to the gutter.
Muslim Refugee Ban and the Seven Countries
The Muslim Refugee Ban, as has already been enacted by the executive order, bars any citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering to the US. Referring to these seven nations as “countries of concern,” during his campaign speeches President Donald Trump repeatedly highlighted internal security and the threat citizens from these countries pose to it. He also proposed banning all Muslims from the US without clarifying the process which became a serious issue during the election. However, later he opted for banning people from countries with terrorist links. Ironically, most the deadly mass shootings in the US in recent years have been perpetrated by American white males. Due to open access to fire arms and vulnerable gun laws, many Americans have lost their life. Will the Muslim Refugee Ban save Americans from themselves? Statistics say that in most cases, Americans kill other Americans, not refugees!
Muslim Refugee Ban and US Refugee Program
The executive order also freezes the US Refugee Admissions Program run by the Resettlement Support Center (RSC) for at least 120 days. Referring to the weakness of the program, which takes at least two years to review and approve an application by a refugee, the executive order requires the state department to make necessary improvements in the application and screening process. Moreover, former President Barack Obama’s proposed number of 110,000 refugees to be admitted in 2017 has also been reduced to 50,000 by the order. Another important aspect of the order is the prioritization of the Christian refugees and the exclusion of the Muslims coming from the Muslim-majority countries.
Muslim Refugee Ban and Syrians
Claiming Syrian refugees as “detrimental to the interests of the United States,” the executive order on Muslim refugee ban bars the entry of Syrians to the US. The civil war in Syria, in which the US is directly involved, is the ultimate reason behind current global refugee crisis. Syrian refugees outnumber all other nationalities in sheer number, and right now more that 14.9 million Syrians need immediate humanitarian assistance. More than half of the 6 million Syrians displaced within the country are children who lost their parents, are injured and continuously victimized as human shields as reported by the US State Department. What about the creation of a safe zone for civilians within Syria that President Trump proposed during campaign?
Muslim Refugee Ban and the New Immigration Process
The Muslim Refugee Ban prompted a number of government agencies including the FBI and the DHS to devise new immigration policies highlighting rigorous screening procedures. The objective of the revised and developed immigration process is to apply severe vetting in determining the visa applicant’s view on the US: any hostile attitudes to the US and Americans would certainly lead to the rejection of the application.
In 2015 alone, more than 1.3 million refugees entered Europe as reported by the Pew Research Center. After the deadly terrorist attacks in Germany and France that took the lives of hundreds of Europeans, hostility towards refugees increased dramatically, and the Muslim Refugee Ban by the Trump administration is a natural continuation of that hostility. The question is to determine how much logical it is as the Canadian and German immigration policies totally disregard the alleged threat that refugees pose to national security. The history of the US tells the same story: refugees and immigrants have been coming to this country for years and assimilating with the great American values and views of life, liberty, and happiness. The Muslim Refugee Ban will not harm the US in any ways, but allowing refugees irrespective of their religious affiliation would certainly have made the US a strong defender of human rights.