Opinion: New ban or old, Republicans must take a stand

Nicholas Hunter

Nicholas Hunter

On Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that placed a travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries.

The rollout of the order was, to put it kindly, hasty. It led to mass confusion, deep, focused anger from the political left and the detention of people who held legal green cards and visas.

Due to this confusion (as well as a question concerning the power of the president to execute such an order) a federal judge in Washington state struck down the ban. Initially, the Trump administration’s appeal on the judge’s ruling was rejected, and it looks like the case will go to the Supreme Court.

Since then, the Trump administration has created a new immigration order. This one, according to a draft obtained by the Associated Press, will keep a focus on the original seven countries as the first order did, but the order will not apply to people who have been to the U.S. previously or hold a legal visa or green card.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said as Trump’s administration works to implement this new ban and prepare for challenges to it, they will continue fighting in court to uphold the first order.

As I said two weeks ago and still believe, this ban is targeted at Muslim people, and his persistence to push forward with it will only alienate American Muslims and increase hostilities between the U.S. and our Middle-Eastern rivals.

CEO of the International Rescue Committee David Miliband called the initial ban a “propaganda gift for all those who would do harm to the United States.”

I am inclined to believe he is right.

Because of this ban, people who are in the process of obtaining a visa or green card will see the work they have done be for naught, as immigration paperwork is only valid for a certain period of time. That means, if the ban is in place for too long, many will see their paperwork become nothing but scrap paper.

If this happens, among the many who wish to come to the U.S for a better, safer life, are men and women from the countries we have military bases in, who have worked for the U.S. as translators and spies — jobs that mean death if their identities are discovered — with no promise to be given refuge in the U.S. The work they do for the military is vital to their daily operations in those places.

Despite risking their lives to help the U.S., many of those brave individuals and their families may be abandoned because of a false narrative propagated by the Trump administration and allowed by the Republican party.

These people serve our country to aid and protect our men and women overseas. To allow the president to force the nation to turn our back on not only those people, but the hundreds of thousands who may not see a tomorrow, is despicable – especially for a Republican party that prides itself so confidently on its support of the military and love for freedom.

Nicholas Hunter is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].