Danny Kilrea, Copy Editor

President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States has been halted again by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 9. This was a small step in the right direction. As I keep reflecting on the immigration ban, I can not have the moral conscience to support it and neither should any religious American. Politics aside, President Trump’s immigration ban is not fair to the citizens trying to come here and goes against the very values our country was founded on. It’s time for this argument to be put to rest and for the administration to focus on the foreign policy that matters.

It can be easy to understand why one would support the ban: there are bad people in this world. Yes, a lot of terrorist attacks have been done by radical Muslims. Yes, many people died as a result of the terrorist attack on 9/11. Yes, the Middle East seems to be falling apart.

However, this is no reason to put in place the immigration ban. There have been zero fatal terror attacks on U.S. soil since 1975 from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. That leads me to wonder why this order is necessary. Trump claims that these are the countries the Obama administration identified as sources of terror but that doesn’t matter because he is no longer president. This act seems to be implemented out of fear rather than logic. If we are truly concerned about terrorism, we should prevent those coming from countries such as Saudi Arabia who have actually killed our citizens.

Furthermore, as a Christian, I have trouble having faith in this system. Some conservatives have called this executive order an act from God. There is no way I can see this notion ringing true. Countless bible verses are for open borders and treating strangers with respect. Denying refugees entrance to our country, therefore, goes against the bible. One verse that particularly struck me was from Leviticus:

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34).

Following the light of God is important to me and while our nation should keep state and church separate, there is no way religion can be used to validate this action. All those in favor in carrying out the gospel can not shed their support for this executive order.

Moreover, calling this act American is not true. We are a country of immigrants. People originally came to America for opportunity and to escape persecution. These ideals have stuck with America since– until now. How is it fair to refuse opportunity to those coming to our country when either our ancestors or ourselves did the same? It is hypocritical.

Nativist groups seems to continue to sprout up in our society. First it was when the Irish came to our country and the Know-Nothing Party emerged. Some stores even told Irish they couldn’t apply. Later on, groups sprouted up when Eastern Europeans and Chinese started coming to our country. Now, we are afraid of Middle Eastern immigrants. These people may speak different languages, have different customs and look different, but that doesn’t mean we should turn our backs and fall victim to our fears. We must stick to the message that the Statue of Liberty communicates: justice for all.

The citizens that are coming to our country are most likely the ones willing to contribute to society. Making the voyage to America is no easy task. As a result, the ones willing to risk their lives to make it here and put forth all their savings to reach our shores would most likely hold a job and better their lives. Immigrants are just looking for the “American Dream” that Americans take for granted far too often: the opportunity to be free, move up economically and control your future. This very principle is not found everywhere and we should want as many people as possible to experience it.

While there is myriad reasons this ban doesn’t make sense to me, one reason does. The increasing terrorism and horrors in the Middle East should be prevented here. Although, this executive order doesn’t seem to contribute to easing this fear because none of the countries on the ban list pose a threat to us. The countries that do pose a threat to us should have some sort of vetting program to make sure anyone coming into our country from areas of danger are coming for the right reasons. It should not target any race or religion but just monitor who is coming in. This seems to be a logical way to monitor what is going on while still providing our country’s freedoms to those who yearn for it. Completely turning the immigrants away is a non sequitur.

“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,” Founding Father Benjamin Franklin said.

As time progresses, our country must not forget its values. Fear can not drive our policies but rather logic and compassion. Remember that all of our families were once immigrants.