By Steven Stetson
Are Americans safe from the rising threat of terrorism? That’s just one of many questions President Trump has strived to solve in the past few weeks. Trump’s answer pertaining to that of the American’s safety was a travel ban. After Trump’s previous travel ban, he revised and mandated a new one. This time around, he has changed the requirements. On top of that, he removed Iraq from the ban, as well as making known his plan ten days in advance before taking effect. Trump has made it known that the ban is in the interest of Americans. Safety is his top priority, but the way in which he went about it last time, seemed to target Muslims specifically. He, as well as the Trump administration, has high hopes for this new one.
A question that needed to be addressed was whether or not Iraq would remain on the ban list. The reason it was an issue at all, was because people saw Iraq as a key ally in the fight against ISIS. Fear of losing them as a result of the ban was the concern. In wake of Trump’s decision, he spoke to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi. Between the two, they discussed key issues in regards to vetting. According to CNN, “Trump also faced pressure to remove Iraq from the order from some American national security officials, who argued the restriction burdened a key anti-ISIS partner” (Diamond). ISIS has been an issue Trump promised to handle once in office. After heavy consideration, his meeting with the Prime Minister led Trump to his ultimate decision to leave Iraq off the ban.
Previously, Trump referenced a “Muslim ban” during his campaign speeches. The media however, was quick to pounce on the name of Trump’s original ban, having claimed it was unconstitutional. As a result, the ban was put on hold, which prompted Trump to make a new one. This time however, Trump addressed the religious aspect directly, making known that it had nothing to do with race or religion. In Rolling Stone, Trump’s advisor, Stephen Miller stated, “There is no religious exclusion, test or establishment of any kind, shape or form whatsoever” (Diamond). This was of great concern from the get go, but after announcing the ban’s new intentions, it clarified concerns.
The ban in general is still highly controversial. Many Democrats continue to stand by their claim of it being unconstitutional, while others buy into it being for the safety of Americans. Wherever one stands, it remains to be seen whether or not the reinstated ban will have a better outcome than last time. As of now, Trump will continue to abide by his belief that America will benefit by such a ban.