Op-Ed: Hysteria Surrounding Donald Trump’s Immigration Policies

The 45th President Of The United States, Donald J. Trump, may be the new guy on the block. However, whether you’re a fan or foe of his, you have to admit that he certainly hasn’t hesitated to act on his campaign promises. One of the most controversial issues surrounding this new administration is immigration policy.   

Donald Trump recently issued an executive order temporarily banning travel from seven different countries. The countries included in the travel ban are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Concerning the reasoning, section 1 of the executive order reads the following:  

“The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

This has been deemed a “Muslim ban” by critics, but is that an accurate label? Before diving too deep into the current situation, it is important to investigate what has stirred up so much controversy with some people on mainly the American left-wing, and why they are reacting the way that they are. Is there consistency along with the anger? Is going to the extent of constantly comparing the man to Hitler a fair move?  

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The American left notoriously adores former U.S. presidents such as Jimmy Carter and Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR). A prime example of this adoration on display was during the second day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC). There was a brief slideshow of past American presidents, where the loudest of cheers began with FDR, and every Democratic president afterward received loud applause as well. However, it is interesting to note that some of these former presidents, namely FDR and Jimmy Carter, both restricted immigration in similar ways to which Trump is doing right now. Barack Obama is also no exception.

Throughout the majority of the Hitler era, under FDR’s administration, the country restricted the number of German Jews who could enter the nation to around 26,000 annually (an estimated less than 25 percent of this quota was actually filled) due to widespread fear that Nazis could be hiding among them; a number amounting to around half of the total amount of refugees that the new administration is still going to allow into the country after a delayed period of a few months. On April 7th, 1980, following the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 that had 52 American citizens held hostage for 444 days, then U.S. president Jimmy Carter cut diplomatic relations with and imposed sanctions on the country of Iran, as well as banning the entry of Iranians from entering into the country all together. 

Ben Shapiro recently broke down Trump’s recent travel ban in an article on his website, as well as an episode on his show. On both of which, he makes pretty solid arguments as to why the “Muslim ban” label is simply not accurate, as well as why the media is completely irresponsible for running with this narrative. According to the Pew Research Center, countries such as Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Egypt have the six largest Muslim populations on the planet–more so than any of the seven targeted countries–and none of them are included in this executive order. In fact, Iran is the only one of the seven countries named that even makes it into the top ten.  

Another Brick in the Wall

Another controversial policy regarding immigration recently put forth is the building of the roughly 1,300 mile wall along the southern U.S. border, a project that could cost anywhere between $15-25 billion. As NPR’s immigration correspondent, John Burnett, points out, this isn’t as simple as it may sound. A wall or fence will be a physical barrier, but alone will not be that effective. There needs to be laborers to build it, and there has been a call for 5,000 new border patrol agents to enforce these laws; an expansion by approximately 25 percent of the existing force. There will also have to be stadium lights, camera towers, and ground sensors.

Given all the controversy, it is important to shine some light on the similar, but much less controversial, Secure Fence Act of 2006 put into effect under the Bush administration. The fence covered around 700 miles, a third of the approximately 2,000 mile border, and the cost was about $2.4 billion. This bill had overwhelmingly bipartisan support. Including many prominent Democrats such as then Senator Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Chuck Schumer. The line of reasoning then was basically the same as it is now. One of the few exceptions to vote in opposition to this project was Bernie Sanders.

This extent of controversy among the masses surrounding deportations may be relatively new, but this is another area where the policies are not. Barack Obama, who was no stranger to strict immigration policies, deported millions of undocumented people during his time in office. About 2.5 million, to be precise. Literally more than any other president in U.S. History. The number of illegal immigrants deported under Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, was just over 2 million. To put each of these administrations into perspective: In the 105 years between 1892 and 1997, the U.S. deported about 2.1 million people. Under the previous two Presidents, the U.S. more than doubled the amount of people moved out of the country in over a century.


In short, all of the recent hysteria surrounding these policies is a bit short-sighted and blown out of proportion. We should no doubt hold our elected officials accountable.

However, this should not be limited to just speaking out against those on the ‘other’ team. If you hate Trump for his immigration policies, yet admire the past Democratic presidents mentioned by default due to their political affiliation, you should probably do a little bit of research.

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