Less than two weeks into office, US President Donald Trump issued an executive order, temporarily -banning immigrants to the United States from seven Muslim–majority countries. It is one of the most odious pieces of policy ever signed by a US president.
The rational for the executive order is to protect the United States from foreign terrorist entry. It was issued under the caption, “Protecting the Nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States.” It has provoked wide spread discussions on social media with political and legal ramifications.
It is estimated that the travel ban has affected about 134 million -people from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. Some of these states were subjected to legislation under the Obama administration which tightened the visa waiver programme in 2016.
Trump’s executive order has also suspended the refugee programme for 120 days. It also cut the refugee admissions to the US from 110,000 under the Obama administration to 50,000 per year. Last year, the US admitted about 12,600 Syrian refugees, but the Trump administration has now imposed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees to the US.
It also limits the tourist, business, student and other visas granted to immigrants from the seven red-flagged countries to enter the United States.
The authority for an executive order is vested in the US constitution which requires the president to make sure that the laws of the country are faithfully executed. Executive orders have afforded presidents with broad enforcement authority in determining law enforcement mechanisms.
Many have garnered widespread support; others have been mired in controversy. There have been about 14,000 executive orders which have been issued by almost all American presidents since George Washington to the end of Obama’s presidency. Franklin Roosevelt holds the record with 3,721 executive orders, followed by Woodrow Wilson with 1,803 and Calvin Coolidge with 1,203. Bill Clinton issued 364; George W. Bush, 291; and Barack Obama, 276.
President Trump’s executive order barring refugees and citizens from entering the US is the second most unpopular so far. Even though a majority of Americans disapproved of it, opinions along partisan lines have shown that 82 percent of Republicans have supported it while 65 percent of Democrats disapprove it.
The only other executive order that was more unpopular was executive order 9066 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942, which ordered the internment of all Japanese Americans in the United States. Like the travel ban, it was widely criticized by people and leaders around the world.
Many believe that the travel ban is discriminatory and heartless to the point that Former president Barack Obama has broken an unwritten rule by former presidents not to criticize their successors by stating that he fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.
However, security experts have claimed that it will make things much harder for law enforcement officials seeking to engage people in the Middle East, especially Muslims in the fight against terrorism and to protect America’s interest in the region. As an act of law, the travel ban seems to be unsound, but as an act of policy, it sends a chillingly message to the world that the US will not act on the basis of rationality, but in a partisan, crude and undiplomatic manner.
The arbitrary limits imposed by the travel ban have provoked massive protests in the US and around the world. It would seem that President Donald trump has given up on that executive order. He has since said that he is going to write another to circumvent the court orders.
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