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President Trump Signs Controversial Executive Order

By Dan Gagnon; For The Clock
On February 9, 2017

President Trump Signs Controversial Executive Order

Dan Gannon

For The Clock

drgannon@plymouth.edu 

On Friday, January 27, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order, which bars citizens from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the country. Along with this, refugee bans have also been put in place by the order, which has been met with resistance.

Executive Order 13769 titled “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” is the official document on the White House’s website. The order bans citizens from the following countries from entering the United States: Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen from entering the U.S. on any visa. In addition, refugees from Syria have been suspended indefinitely from entry into the United States, as well as putting a 120-day restriction on any other refugees from reaching American soil.

The ban does not apply to citizens with these nationalities who are already U.S. citizens. However, on Saturday, January 28, United States citizens who are green card holders traveling overseas for work or to see family were affected. Reports came in all over the country of people being detained at airports, and even leaving some left in these countries wondering if they’ll ever be able to return to the United States.

The Tampa Bay Times reported on Nazanin Zinouri, who is one of these people. Zinouri had recently earned her Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Clemson University and was home visiting family. She was in the United States legally on a student visa, but because she is an Iranian citizen, she was taken off her plane back to the United States. “I will stay hopeful that I’ll go back to my home,” Zinouri told CNN, but when that they may happen is unknown.

On Sunday, January 29, White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus was quoted on Fox News Meet The Press saying, “I would suspect that if you’re traveling back and froth to Libya, you’re likely to be subjected to further questioning when you come into an airport. “ Preibus added that the Department of Public Safety agents already had this ability.

It was also made clear that these countries are the same countries chosen under President Obama for the visa-waiver program of 2011. This allowed citizens from thirty countries to visit a short time without a visa after March 1, 2011, but required that individuals from the seven Muslim majority countries to apply for a visa from a U.S. consulate.

Protests around the nation have arisen in opposition to President Trump’s Executive Order. Four cities have already had federal judges block the order. They are the following: Alexandria, Virginia, Boston, Massachusetts, Seattle, Washington, and New York City, New York, the sight of where two Iraqi businessmen were detained before boarding their flight.

Former Attorney General Sally Yates told the Justice Department not to defend the Executive order in court. She did not believe the order to be lawful and showed resistance. For her actions, President Trump relieved Yates of her duties.

The New York Post had reported that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani had said President Trump has asked for a “Muslim ban”, but wanted “experts to focus on danger instead of religion.” Giuliani would go on to say, “The areas of the world that create danger for us, which is on factual basis, not a religious basis.”

The Department of Homeland Security reported that 1,016,518 green cards were issued in 2014. Of these 19,153 went to people who were from Iraq and 11,615 went to Iranians. However, combined these seven countries make up roughly 40% of the refugee intake, according to the DHS. Not all Muslims are banned from entering the United States, as people from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan are still able to travel to America.

Protests continue across the United States and many are left scrambling still trying to make sense of President Trump’s action. Some are fearful, some agree with the president. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the travel ban.

Earlier this week, a federal judge temporarily froze the Executive Order. There has been praise and uproar over this action, as President Trump and Vice President Pence want the block lifted. It is possible that the case could be headed to the Supreme Court. The details will be made clear over the next upcoming weeks. 

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