Despite the outcry over president Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration; banning travel to and from Seven Muslim-majority Countries, we all seem to have conveniently forgotten the United States rich history of religious discrimination .
Originally as per the first US congress,
“Any alien being 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.” ~ Neutralization Act Of 1790.
In short, we will only accept free white people for citizenship “The End”.
Yeah, okay I know, this was not an explicit Ban on immigrants.Well, that would come later. Sometime around 1882… after thousands immigrated to America, from China mostly as workers. This mass migration sparked a wave of xenophobia across the country. With fears that all American jobs will be taken from Americans, the Congress introduced the CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT.
“An act to execute certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese”
Well, this act placed a Ban on people who are ethnically Chinese. Halting nearly all immigration from china for Decades.
Though, this was first of such laws. A broader and a more restrictive law was soon brought forth known as the IMMIGRATION LAW OF 1924.This law not only lowered existing quotas of immigrants from certain countries , it also banned Asian ethnicities from immigration completely.
In Japan, people marked this day as National Humiliation day, in protest of this unjust law. Nearly two decades after, Japan attacked America in Pearl Harbor 1941.
Payback’s a Bitch.
One Japanese commander wrote in his diary that it was time to teach the United States a lesson for its behavior, including the exclusion of Japanese immigrants. As a response to Pearl Harbor, the US government imprisoned more than 100,000 people of Japanese ethnicity, all done by the Executive Order of President Frank D Roosevelt.
Many families were torn apart, businesses destroyed, some people even died during the four year long internment camps.
Oh yes, even America had their own internment camps, just a watered-down version of The Nazi. And fun fact more than half of those in those camps were legal American citizens.
In 1965, The US tried to right the wrongs of its past with the “IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT OF 1965”. This law signed by president Jonson 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”.
The legality of President Trump’s Immigration is questioned under 1965 law, as it singles out the Muslim majority countries of Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia.
In a statement, following his executive order Trump said:
“This is not about religion. This is about Terror and keeping our country safe” -President Donald Trump
But between 1975 till 2015 none of these countries have produced terrorists that have killed American citizens on American soil. Well, Trump is also defending the law based on the old immigration law of 1952 which gives the president the authority to Ban “any class of aliens” but as the 1965 law was an update to the 1952 law, therefore, superseding it and casting doubt on the legality of the entire law.
Well President Trump also stated:
“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iran for six months”.
Well in 2011, Iraqi nations on visa programs were placed under greater scrutiny after an Iraqi terror cell was discovered in the US, but unlike Trumps plan those with US citizenships, green cards and Dual citizenships were allowed to come and go as they pleased.
Also Obama’s response was a result of an active threat,whereas Trump’s seems to be motivated by fulfillment of his election promises.
Personally, I love a man who keeps his word.
Okay jokes apart, the history of immigration Ban in the US shows us that they are short sighted and potentially harmful to the US.
Politicians all around the world are taking a stand against the new law such as:
“I think the effect will probably in some areas give ISIS some more propaganda” -senator John Mccain.
And from what I know some of the alleged members of ISIS even openly celebrated the Trump’s Ban. According to Iran’s foreign minister, Trump’s plan is a great gift to extremists as it serves to divide the Muslim world and the US.
Even after all this, more than 30% of US population is silently supporting the immigration Ban.
Yes, the world is indeed a funny place.