CHS Students React to Trump’s Travel Ban
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It’s hardly a surprise to anyone when Donald Trump sparks another political controversy; he’s practically the king of it. However, when the president enacted an “executive order” resembling a ban of all Muslims and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, and Libya, the press, and the world, went crazy. The earth quaked in witness of what many deemed as an act of cruelty towards documented immigrants, especially those who were retained at customs in the airport and told of their deportation back to their home countries. Why? Due to the uncontrollable act of being born in a Trump-viewed “terrorist” country.
According to Trump, the ban was established to stop potential terrorist attacks. In reality, he’s stopping a family from reuniting and restricting kids from seeing their parents. These people are Green Card holders, meaning they aren’t undocumented. They have the right to go out of the country and be allowed back in without further questions. The Green Card allows an immigrant to work freely, travel outside the United States, and provide identification as a legal resident of the United States. Yet, due to their origin of being from a foreign country and subscribing to the Islamic religion, they are considered threats and are unwelcome. This is despite the fact that as legal residents, they have documented paperwork and have been living here for years, paying taxes, enrolling in the military, and contributing to America’s economy as workers.
“You can not leave the label ‘danger’ on the people who are running for safety in order to survive and keep their family safe, just because you feel that it is ok to stereotype a group of people,” said senior Zawadi Doti.
At Cleveland, many students have been impacted by the president’s ban and are frustrated and threatened by his ideals about Muslims. “If he did his research, he would realize and know what Islam is. It’s like the KKK. We can’t [assume that the] KKK and Christianity [are] the same thing,” said senior Biftu Amin, a Muslim. Trump “can’t say Islam is the same thing as ISIS, because guess what? Where in the Quran does it say that killing people is good? It says the opposite of that. It says killing is a sin.”
When immigrants think about the United States, they think about freedom and a place where their dreams can come true, where they can pursue a career, and feel safe. Many students feel that as a president, Trump is taking away the definition and meaning of freedom. They believe that Trump is depleting the image of the American dream that our country so boldly represents. To many immigrants, America has been depicted as a country in which citizens are free to express themselves, receive a free education, and not be afraid of going to bed hungry or being killed in the middle of the night by a bomb. America should be a place where immigrants can start fresh and have another chance in life.
“It’s sad to see people weren’t allowed to come back into the United States and were left out of the country to visit their families,” said Amin, “and most of these people are American citizens that fight for America… . Some people give up their lives, who are immigrants [and] Muslims to fight for America, and it’s sad to see a narcissistic person is taking away a country they call theirs.” It demonstrates that immigrants not only come to our country as refugees, but they become a part of this country, and will defend it as theirs.
“I think it’s insane… . As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, you should not judge someone solely based on the country they are from,” said Doti. Trump “is just feeding off of the fears most Americans get of not being safe in the presence of a Muslim, or someone from Syria, which I truly see as crazy and childish like. It is not fair. How can you deny someone safety or aid just because you are cowardly and selfish?”
In the words of Amin, Islam isn’t what is being portrayed as by ISIS, but instead a “religion where you get rewarded for smiling, where killing an ant is a sin. I don’t get where Donald Trump comes and says Islam is a terrorist religion, and we should ban everyone that is from that religion out of the country. Guess what? Most of the terrorist attacks that happen are caused by Caucasian males. I’m sure not all Christian people are Trump supporters,” said Amin. “They would be offended if they were compared to the KKK. It’s offensive to the Muslim community to compare ISIS with Islam because what ISIS is doing is the opposite of what Muslim people believe in.”
Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Muslims are infiltrated with ISIS. Immigrants coming to America are looking for safety, some to be reunited with family, and most to make benefit of the so called “American dream.” Trump should remember that.