On Tuesday, June 26, the Supreme Court approved President Donald Trump’s travel ban which, to varying degrees, restricts entry into the U.S. from the countries of Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela.
According to White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah, the president does not support a ban on all Muslims, as was stated December 2015. He only wishes to uphold “a minimal standard and allow our government to feel confident that we know who these individuals coming into our country are.”
Several Americans are not pleased with the travel ban. Organizations such as MoveOn.org are planning protests and rallies to fight back and “increase pressure for justice.”
The protests are also in response to the Trump administration’s ongoing prosecution of adults who are illegally crossing the U.S. border and whose children have been detained separately. As of May, around 2,000 children have been separated from their parents or guardians.
In Michigan, the ban is extremely alarming to some. Michigan State University is one of the top colleges in the nation for international student enrollment, and as of 2016 has had students enrolled from six of the seven countries that are part of the ban, with the exception of North Korea.
“I personally wish all of this could just go away,” Jasmin Hassan, a Palestinian-American student at MSU, said. “I have family in the Middle East, and I am worried about what is going to happen next. Life over there is not good, people just want to be safe—a safe place where they can just live and live peacefully.”
Hassan also said that she hoped her family members in Syria would come and live in the U.S. with her and her immediate family, but now does not know what the fate of her international family will be.
Dearborn, Mich. has a large number of people that could potentially be affected by the travel ban, as Dearborn has one of the largest Arab communities in the world outside the Middle East.
A representative of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan said that the ban is a letdown by the Supreme Court and a betrayal to basic values because it displays the vast amount of bias that Trump has against Muslims.
Trump has previously made tweets saying things like “radical Islamic terrorism must be stopped by whatever means necessary.” The tweets were so impactful that studies show attacks and hate crimes rose during Trump’s presidential campaign and continued within the first few months of his presidency.
Hassan said that during the time of the presidential campaigns and after elections, she felt extremely uneasy and felt a heightened sense of Islamophobia from people on a day-to-day basis.
“I do not feel fully safe now,” Hassan said. “I have hardly felt safe since the election either. It’s like since we have a president who expresses all his thoughts, even the really bad ones, the rest of the country just follows along. I do not feel safe because I am a certain culture. I feel like other minorities also don’t feel safe. It’s just not okay.”
Many of the countries under the travel ban are dealing with major conflicts and civil wars, causing many inhabitants to seek refuge within the U.S.
Since October, only 44 Syrian refugees have settled in the U.S., which is a sharp decline compared to the 6,000 who settled a year earlier before Trump’s inauguration.
This version of the travel ban is the third version. The first was issued January 2017, and the executive order has since been debated in various courts up to this point.
The ALCU said that they will fight to lift the ban and file a lawsuit on the grounds of religious discrimination for Michigan individuals. A ruling in their favor would have national implications.
“This is not over, this is a huge letdown for people who are here to have full freedom and avoid religious discrimination. Families are being split apart and this is not what America is about.”