Discrimination with the stroke of a pen

It’s been a weekend of anger and protest, due to President Trump carelessly using the might of his pen to discriminate against Muslims. I don’t want to believe it either, because I wanted a world for my son where we moved so far away from hating or fearing people because they were different from us. But that is what this was; as his own ally stated on Fox News, this was President Trumps way of placing a Muslim Ban but doing so while hiding it behind a legal danger threat to the United States. And most of us saw that, some of you are still not as sure and I think that is what hurts the most. Everyone is so caught up in the division of Left and Right, and buying into the thought that all mainstream media is corrupt or bias. We are too busy ignoring the facts, yelling at each other over the internet and playing into fear on both sides that the end result of war, be it Civil War or World War is starting to feel inevitable. And that is terrifying, heartbreaking and angering.

The responses from some I have seen to this Executive Order is discouraging. I have seen many comments of “Why are they protesting now when Obama did the same?” or “President Trump is trying to protect us from terrorists” or even “Why not worry about our Vets/schools instead of refugees”. Well, let’s talk about it.

Let’s start with the Obama 2011 ban on Iraqi refugees claim. You are right it happened… kinda. But why did it happen and more importantly what are some key differences between what was done then and what was done on Friday?

According to Washington Post, due to an incident referred to as the “Kentucky Case” where 2 Iraqis were arrested, charged and later sentenced for terrorist activities, Obama promised to re-examine the records of 58,000 Iraqis who had been settled in the United States. During this time new, more extensive background checks were ordered for Iraqi refugees and the new procedures caused a huge delay or almost halted regular visa admissions from Iraq.

Also during that time, due to the rechecking of all Iraqi refugees about 1,000 soon-to-be immigrants were denied boarding of flights already booked and some removed from planes. Also, due to the increased vetting some applicants had to restart the application process.

So what is the difference between then and now? First, Obama was responding to an immediate threat. And investigating how this happened, as a result stricter vetting processes were created.

Second, there was no outright ban. It was a delay. And to those saying it was not covered by the mainstream media, it was. The word ban was never used because it was not a ban it was a significant delay which was a story being reported.

Third and this one is important, Obama’s policy was executed in a way that did not cause significant disruption as it didn’t prevent all citizens of that country including green-card holders or those who had the country listed as place of birth. That is a huge difference. It didn’t leave people stranded. There was no chaos. It didn’t leave room for misinterpretation of the policy where families were being divided. And it wasn’t based on a religion. (see above Fox News clip again.)

Now for the list of countries coming from Obama, again you’re right… kinda.

Let’s start with the most important fact. Obama did not create the list for the purpose it is currently being used. The U.S. State Department began implementing changes to the U.S. Visa Waiver program. When I go to the U.S I do not need a Visa, the same for someone from E.U. States who want to visit the United States they also do not need a Visa. If we want to travel to the USA we just need our passports. What Obama did was sign a bill preventing  those who have dual citizenship with that list of 7 countries from being a part of the Visa Waiver Program, meaning they would require a visa, not just a passport to travel to the USA. To obtain a Visa you must be interviewed, fill out an application etc, essentially vetted before you can enter the country.

Why not worry about our own Vets or schools? I do worry about our vets and our schools. I am willing to bet that those protesting do as well. It is possible to care about multiple issues at once. I do what I can to support both because our Vets and those serving deserve our thanks, respect and help if/when needed and our children are the future and I want better for them. I want better for all of us.

Why protest now?  I would protest if I was there because it’s not Canada first or America first or Christian first or Muslim first, it’s humanity first. I am a human first. I can put myself in those people being detained shoes and I would want someone out there to stand-up for me; to help me. I would want someone to say “This is wrong! You can’t do this!” When we go silent that’s how we allow atrocities like the holocaust happen. Remember when we all said #NeverAgain? I meant it, did you?

It’s not about left or right, it’s about people. It’s about humanity and taking care of each other. It’s about standing-up to injustice and supporting each other.

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