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Securing the Seven

President Trump's executive order regarding immigration from seven countries is quickly halted in the courts. One former refugee tells why she believes in the order and the need for thorough examination of immigrants and travelers.

photo by Meg Miller

photo by Meg Miller

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As one of his first acts in office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order immediately suspending entry to the United States of travelers from seven predominately Muslim countries for 90 days and suspending the entry of refugees for 120 days.

As stated in the Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet, “the purpose of the suspensions is to give the department time to review the visa and immigration processes of the seven countries and allow time to make necessary adjustments to their processes to protect the security of the United States.”

As soon as the executive order was enacted, protestors were quick to voice their opinion, taking to the streets and airports to oppose the order. USA Today reported protests in 30 cities some with crowds in the thousands.

Latin teacher Victoria Coltea understands first-hand the immigration process. Her family came to America as refugees from communist Romania. The vetting process was tough. “My husband was questioned multiple times over seven months while at a refugee camp in Austria,” said Mrs. Coltea. As a refugee, he arrived at the camp with no documentation. She said, “They took time to establish exactly who he was and what kind of character he had before allowing him to travel on. When I hear people have complained about waiting six hours in an airport because of the ban, I think ‘That’s nothing.’ It’s a necessary and normal process.”

While Democrats were unified in their cries of injustice, Republicans remained split with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan voicing his support, but also adding that he was disappointed by the confusion and turmoil surrounding the order. Special provisions for lawful permanent residents, diplomats and those who “benefit national interest” were little consolation.

The matter quickly ended up in the courts. U.S. District Court Judge James Robart temporarily blocked the executive order. NPR reports doing so reversed somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 Visa cancelations, immediately allowing travelers from the seven countries entry into America.

This isn’t the first time we have seen a president hand down an executive order of this nature. According to the DHS Fact Sheet, “This authority has been exercised by nearly every president since President Carter, and has been a component of immigration laws since the enactment of the INA in 1952.”

History teacher Cindy de León said, “It is no different than Obama’s executive order in 2011 (re-veting thousands of Iraqi refugees), the only difference is now Trump has included other countries where there is no structured government. For example, Syrians who are fleeing Syria are going to refugee camps in countries like Iraq, and they are fleeing without the procedure of the government and are not being vetted or checked in any way before they apply to come here.”

Now a U.S. citizen, Mrs. Coltea said, “Having lived in a country where you could not trust the people around you, I love America and believe detailed and legal documentation should be normal, not ‘illegal.’”

Sophomore Sebastian Snodgrass said, “I think the executive order was a good idea, and I think we still need to be improving the system for accepting refugees. It’s the way that he went about the ban that is angering people.”

Matters like these concerning national security have the potential to affect all citizens. While the order is intended to keep American lives safe and to ensure the security of our nation, those in power must also remember that this nation was built by immigrants and refugees pursuing better lives and fleeing persecution.

“My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering,” said President Trump.

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