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With President Trump’s administration in the White House for a few weeks now, the President has already issued multiple executive orders including one recently regarding immigrants.
The Executive Order is a temporary 90 day ban placed on people from seven Middle Eastern countries–Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen–many with legal United States visas. All refugees are banned from entering the country for 120 days, and Syrian immigrants are banned indefinitely.
In response to the ban, Emmanuel College’s President Sister Janet released a statement on January 30 through the Portal.
— The Hub (@ECtheHUB) January 30, 2017
“We are all concerned about these developments. I want to assure all students, faculty and staff that the College will do all it can within the law to protect the well-being of all community members during this uncertain time and to protect privacy rights in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA),” said Sister Janet.
She also notes that, based off of the college’s records, there may be two Emmanuel students directly affected by the ban. Sister Janet also recognizes that there may be students facing impacts through family members and friends outside of Emmanuel College.
“The force of legislation but they’re only as good so far as the next president, or even this president…Any of these latest attacks, like the San Bernardino massacre, or what happened in Orlando, the massacre there, these folks were in the United States legally living here. These folks didn’t come from these countries on the list,” said Dr. Adam Silver, Assistant Professor of Political Science.
“Even the Obama administration had a restriction for Iraqis, refugees and others so it’s not unusual for states to have some criteria for who comes in and how they come in,” said Dr. Petros Vamvakas, Associate Professor of Political Science.
The controversial aspect of this ban arrises from the seven Middle Eastern countries–primarily Muslim–as well as the scale of this ban affecting about 218 million people. This includes women, children, and scholars with the possibility of very few extremists. It also contradicts the Geneva Convention, which allows for protection of refugees in war zones.
The executive order itself does not state anything about Muslims or their views, but the intent behind imposing the ban is controversial since it affects mostly Muslims.
“[I don’t] think this executive order represents the values of all Americans,” said Muhammad Maan Alawa ’17 of Emmanuel’s Muslim Student Association.
Alawa suggests Trump meet with Arab immigrants to understand who they are as people. Alawa himself has met many immigrants from the Middle East who, work several jobs, sometimes going to back-to-back shifts, all to support their families here in America.
“I and several other classmates have family members outside of America that cannot come for our graduation. My sister went to Germany for grad school, and cannot return due to this policy,” said Alawa.
Although this adversely affects his friends and family, Alawa remains hopeful saying “we are doing the best we can to let them in.”
Devin Nelson ’19 is a staff writer for the Hub. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.