Recently President Trump issued an Executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim countries from entering US for a period of 90 days. This is nothing new for the states; the immigration policies of the US were always strict. Despite the hue and cry over this order one should know the loaded history of U.S.A., discriminating specific countries and ethnicity.

Originally as per the first US Congress immigration act of 1790, “Any alien being a free white person may be admitted to become a citizen thereof making proof to the satisfaction of such court, that he is a person of good character.” But this wasn’t an explicit ban on immigrants. In the late 1870’s a large influx of Chinese immigrants entered US as workers. This mass migration sparked a signal of racial intolerance across America as they feared that their jobs are being taken by the immigrants. Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by the US congress that placed a ban on people who are ethnically Chinese. This halted the immigration from China for decades.

A broader and more restrictive law was passed in 1924 which is famously known as ‘The Immigration Act’. The act limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the U.S. through a national origins quota. It also outright banned Asian ethnicity from immigration. After Pearl Harbor attack the U.S. government imprisoned more than 1, 00,000 people of Japanese ethnicity living in the country, more than half of the arrested people were legitimate American citizens. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered these arrests through an executive order.

In 1965, United States Immigration and Nationality Act was passed, this act stated, “No person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of his race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.” President Trump’s order is directly in breach of the act of 1965, because it singles out Muslim majority countries like; Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. It is interesting to note that none of these banned countries have produced citizens in terror attacks on US soil. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Afghanistan and Pakistan are not included in the ban despite documented terrorist activity and movement of militants from those countries, nor are Indonesia or Turkey. Many are of the view that the ban may fuel ISIS propaganda. President Trump has stated that his policy is similar to what Obama did in 2011, when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.

Terrorism is a global problem not only restricted to America, this executive order with its “America first” philosophy will do little to fight it. The history of immigration policy in the US shows that they are short-term and potentially dangerous. Trump’s order successfully shuts the door not just on migrants and refugees but on the very values of justice, and liberty even as not making any significant contribution in world peace.

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Kartikey Misra

A student of law, co-founder eltrivate, Individualist, Narcissist. Totally believes in Nationalism. Has an interest in politics, history, religion, literature and international relations. Loves to hunt pseudo liberals and pseudo seculars.

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