It’s been a week since Trump was named President. However, the measures taken in this short period of time have already dashed the hope that his policies would be more moderate once in power, putting the United Sates in the international community’s spotlight. One of the most drastic measures he has adopted is the executive order that suspends the country’s policy towards refugees, or “Muslim ban”.
What are this order’s effects?
Among the different measures it takes, the order:
- Suspends the Syrian refugee program indefinitely, a program which already distinguished itself for the many restrictions to which it was subject to.
- Denies the entry to the citizens of seven majority Muslim countries for a period of 90 days. These countries are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
- This prohibition is applied to those citizens that have dual nationality as well, when one of them corresponds to one of the seven countries just named.
- Reduces the total number of refugees that will be accepted in the country in 2017, from 110,000 to 50,000.
- Prioritizes the entry of religious minorities, victims of prosecution.
This last point has raised claims that the policy is specifically directed towards Muslims, prioritizing the access to those countries’ Christian population. This assumption was confirmed last Friday by President Trump in an interview with CBN News:
David Brody: “Persecuted Christians, we’ve talked about this, the refugees overseas. The refugee program, or the refugee changes you’re looking to make. As it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?”
President Trump: “Yes.”
David Brody: “You do?”
President Trump: “They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.”
A controversial and dangerous decision
This decision is founded on a dangerous relation between Islam and terrorism, which contributes to increase the American population’s mistrust towards the Muslim community living in the country. But it also increases the Western countries’ isolation and their protectionist policies towards the humanitarian crisis developing in other parts of the globe.
This decision has sparked protests in many US cities, leading to demonstrations in front of many airports and of Brooklyn’s courthouse. Likewise, several legal claims have been filed with the purpose of reverting the decision. Theirs first effect has been the alteration of the decision imposed to double nationality citizens whose visas were in force and, therefore, whose situation was legal. However, it is a slow legal process which leaves unresolved the situation of thousands of people on the meanwhile.
In addition, even if the decision is rejected, the damage has already been produced. That is, the normalization of discriminatory measures against the refugee population and the adoption of openly xenophobic and islamophobic positions, which lead to speeches and acts of hate against the Muslim population.
Avaaz has launched a signature campaign against the order passed by Trump. You can access and support the campaign in the following link: