President Donald Trump has taken an extreme isolationist stance on things from immigration policies to alliances, and the repercussions of his actions are already starting to appear. After the refugee ban was recently shut down by a federal judge from Brooklyn, a major part of the fight for humanitarianism was achieved. However, an article from CNN written by David Andelman titled, “Forget the lawsuits–thousands of refugees already face a locked door,” sends a reminder that this is not the end of suffering for the refugees. Andelman suggests that there still exists the problem of global refugee quota for the United States. Donald Trump has slashed this quota by more than one-half with Obama’s previous goal of admitting 110,000 refugees for 2017 diminished to a mere 50,000. Moreover, European countries, despite a growing xenophobic atmosphere and smaller populations, are still accepting a higher proportion of refugees to population than the United States. This highlights the extreme stance Trump has taken regarding the admittance of refugees. Andelman also highlights a major problem with the quota. Trump’s said purpose is to prevent possible terrorists from conflict-ridden regions to be able to come to America disguised as refugees. However, the refugee quota is not unique to regions where terrorism is rampant. For example, the United States receives many refugees from Burma each year where terrorism is non-existent, and they present no danger. Unfortunately, Trump’s quota includes cutting them off from the United States too for no apparent reason.
This article shines light on a very important subject, and really reminded me of the extent of this problem. Even though we just hear these things on the news or read it in the paper, these problems affect real people-people that we go to school with and families that we know. Deportation has separated families, and there have been many cases of deportation of legal permanent residents. For example, Miguel Perez Jr. was born in Mexico, but came to the United States as a child later and lived here as a legal permanent resident with a green card. Eventually he joined the U.S. Special Forces and served two tours in Afghanistan fighting for his country. Unfortunately, he served seven years in prison for a drug charge, and after his time in prison he was sent to the immigration court for prospects of deportation because he technically was not a U.S. citizen. Our immigration process has alienated the very people that make it possible for us to have the right to be U.S. citizens. Moreover, the affects of slashing the refugee quota and our failing immigration system affects society even more profoundly. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs and innovators have been immigrants that have changed the way we think and function. For example, the co-founder of Google was an immigrant born in Moscow. By cutting off refugees and immigrants from the United States we lose this innovation, and lose our ability to develop further. The reason why we thrive as a country is because we are a melting pot of races, religions, and cultures that coexist to produce new breakthroughs and ideas that one race, ethnicity, or culture alone could not. America was founded by immigrants and despite the conflicts among ethnicities that Americans experienced in its early years, we have come a long way. We should not let fear-mongering and ignorance allow us to fall back and lose all of the work we have done to come so far. If we really care about the future of our nation, we need to accept each other not for where we come from but who we are because at the end of the day we are all human.