Today, the Dow Jones dropped 200 points, its biggest decline since early October, marking the end of a massive rise since Trump’s election. Panic and hysteria over President Trump’s recent executive order halting all immigration for ninety days from seven predominantly Muslim countries are rampant. Opinions, condemnations, and emotional anecdotes are lighting up headlines and Facebook pages across the country. However, a simple examination of history will reveal that Trump’s ban is both precedented and necessary.
America has long and for the most part uncontroversial history of restricted immigration during times of war, perhaps most famously in the 1890s when President John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition acts. Adams did so in the midst of the quasi war with France. He went so far as to deport French immigrants currently living in the U.S., for fear of an insurrection at home.
In 1903, President Teddy Roosevelt, featured on Mt. Rushmore, signed the Anarchist Exclusion Act. This blocked entrance to the U.S. for anyone deemed to be a political extremist.
In the 1940s, in addition to his abhorrent internment of 60,000 Japanese Americans, liberal hero FDR blocked immigration from Japan and Germany for the duration of the war. His successor, Harry Truman, continued the policy.
More recently, President Jimmy Carter, as moral a man as to ever hold the office, blocked immigration from Iran during the Iran hostage crisis. Even President Obama, who has broken a long standing precedent, and criticized President Trump’s executive order, banned immigration from Iraq for six months in 2011 for nearly the same reasons Trump states.
In fact, Trump’s much maligned list of seven was derived from existing policies of the Obama administration. The seven countries are singled out in the Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015. Much has been made of the fact that few terror attacks since Sept. 11 have been perpetrated by immigrants from these seven nations. They were selected not because of history, but because of their destructive potential. The intelligence community has been sanctioning, and closely monitoring immigrants from these nations for many years. They were deemed dangerous by intelligence officials within president Obama’s own administration.
Contrary to what many media are reporting, it is not a wide ranging ban on Muslims. Roughly forty nations not included in the ban are comprised predominantly of Muslims. The constitution provides protection for all from discrimination on the basis of religion. This does not mean that members of a certain religious sect are free from scrutiny due to their religious ideology. For example, in the 1830s the governments of Illinois and Missouri forced Brigham Young and the Mormon church to move west, due to their unlawful practice of polygamy. Membership of a religious minority does not provide blanket exemption from the law of the land. It is a shame that the peace loving moderate Muslims that comprise 75% of the religion world wide share the same holy book as the violent radical 25%.
If these radical Muslims were part of an entirely different religion, say a religion called Jihadism, would it be unconstitutional to ban every member of that religion from entering the United States? Of course not. They would not be denied entry on the premise of religion, but due to the fact that the are actively aiming to overthrow the United States government, and due its citizens harm.
The “peaceful refugees” in Europe are destroying some of its proudest nations. Due to a massive increase in violent crime, particularly towards women, Germany has begun deporting many of the refugees it initially brought in. The controversial Brexit vote in the U.K. was motivated largely by a desire to avoid the the refugee burden placed upon member nations of the E.U. The British had a taste of Sharia Law, and decided they’ve seen enough.
When Trump says “America First”, it means that anyone and everyone granted entry into this country will be subject to this question; does he or she advance, or inhibit the safety and collective values of this American experiment? If that answer is no, regardless of race, class, or gender, that person will and should be denied entry to the U.S., in order to maintain and protect the Fire of Liberty.