Students have mixed reactions to Trump’s immigration policies
Perspectives on the President: Immigration
February 7, 2017
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This is the second article in a series in which The Freelancer will explore the policies of newly-elected-president Donald Trump and potential impact on La Serna High School students and culture.
Since Donald Trump’s presidential candidate announcement in 2015, his views and opinions about immigration have been very controversial, especially regarding the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico, deportation force, and the banning of Muslims. Now that Trump is President, he has demonstrated that he is keeping his promises regarding immigration. On January 25, 2017, Trump signed two executive orders directing the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border, boosting border patrol forces and increasing the number of immigration enforcement officers who carry out deportations. However, according to CNN news, “Trump has repeatedly promised that Mexico will reimburse US taxpayers for the construction costs, a suggestion Mexican officials have rejected out of hand.” The executive orders allow the government to identify and punish “sanctuary cities” by withholding the federal money of those cities. As a result, according to Janie Har from The Press Democrat, “San Francisco sued President Donald Trump on Tuesday over his move to cut funding to immigrant-protecting ‘sanctuary cities,’ calling the executive order unconstitutional, a severe invasion of the city’s sovereignty and downright un-American.”
As Trump signed the executive orders that direct the construction of the wall, the most important question must be evaluated. Will the wall stop illegal immigrants from entering the country? There are different opinions to this question at schools and communities. “It can help prevent them, but we still need to patrol to make sure they are not climbing over or digging underneath it,” said junior Matthew Rahe. On the other hand, according to Francisco Villalta, also a junior, “I don’t agree because the immigrants will find a way to come to the United States. He can’t stop them.” Some people believe the wall can prevent illegal immigrants from entering the United States while others believe it won’t stop the illegal immigrants from entering the nation and that it is a waste of money. The truth of the matter is that Trump is proving he will keep the promises he made throughout his campaign.
On January 29, 2017, Trump signed an executive order to suspend citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for three months. Additionally, Trump’s executive order will stop the nation from accepting refugees for four months. Many Republicans and Democrats are against this immigration ban, such as Republican Charlie Dent, who stated, “It’s unacceptable, and I urge the administration to halt enforcement of this order until a more thoughtful and deliberate policy can be reinstated.” Alternatively, CBS News has reported that over 54 percent of Republicans support the ban. Tensions are rising as people evaluate if this executive order is truly a Muslim ban. According to Todd Spangler, a USA Today writer, “All of the countries targeted are majority Muslim.”
This immigration ban has sparked controversy throughout the nation, affecting communities and schools such, even La Serna. According to junior Jared Ramos, “I believe it’s a Muslim ban and that it’s bad because it’s discriminating a religion.” However some individuals have a different perspective. Rahe stated, “No, I think its a terrorist ban.”
Currently, the United States is not accepting any refugees into the country for four months. Additionally, Trump’s executive order indefinitely bans Syrian refugees. The stated purpose of the ban was to avoid terrorist attacks, according to Trump. In contrast to Trump’s reason, the CATO Institute states, “You have a 0.00003 percent chance of dying in an attack by a foreign- born terrorist.” In addition, according to Zack Beauchamp from the news website Vox, “You’re more likely to be killed by your own clothes than by an immigrant terrorist.” Protests have occurred against Trump’s executive order across the nation. However, there are many people who support Trump on his executive order, such as the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward Royce. “Pausing the intake of refugees from terror hot spots is the right call to keep America safe,” Royce said. Many La Serna students also have opinions regarding Trump’s executive order. “I don’t think it’s a good idea because we are a land of immigrants,” Ramos said. Rahe, on the other hand, support Trump’s executive order. He said, “With all those dangerous countries, you have to make sure you’re not letting those people in. It gives you more time to deal with normal citizens.”
Trump’s plan regarding immigration is terrifying to many immigrant families. Some La Serna students are worried about the future of their families. According to Francisco Villalta, a junior, said, “I feel afraid to go to my country because if I go this year or next year, I don’t know if I will able to come back here.” Trump’s temporal ban of seven Muslim countries have risen concerns on whether Trump will expand this ban to other countries.
In all, people who oppose Trump are worried that he will keeping signing executive orders that discriminate against immigrants and people because of their race or religion. Trump supporters are looking at an optimistic future where America can become safer through increased isolation.