Students at CHS disagree with Trump’s former executive order

Junior Alexis O’Brien

On Jan. 29, junior Alexis O’Brien went to a Trump protest at the Indianapolis International Airport to protest against the president’s executive order to temporarily ban immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. O’Brien made a sign saying “We Love You,” in Arabic, French and English. She said that she doesn’t support Trump’s order because not all immigrants are terrorists and because the issue blocked some Americans who were returning back to the US from one of those countries.


Did you agree with Trump’s decision? Can you see where he’s coming from?

Not at all. I don’t agree with Trump’s policies. I agree that vetting could be a little stronger but that was extreme and I know plenty of people from those countries who aren’t terrorists. Not everyone is a terrorist. Someone I saw (at the protest), who was for the ban said that illegal immigrants shouldn’t be allowed in the country. But the thing is, is that a lot of these people aren’t illegal, a lot of them had visas, greencards or are residents here. There was a Harvard professor trying to come back overseas but he was turned around. Even though it didn’t affect me personally, I went to an airport protest because I wanted to let people know that Americans want to make immigrants feel welcome– at least most Americans.


Do you feel that this ban has been unifying in a way, with a lot of people coming together to protest the ban?

When I was at the airport protest, I was able to meet a lot of people who were from the Indianapolis area who shared the same passions. We got together and we were planning some carpool stuff for other protesters. I also got to meet some people who were from those countries who were thanking us and I was able to connect with people from all over the world, not just Indianapolis.


Sophomore Danial Tajwer

Last year, sophomore Danial Tajwer attended the Creekside Culture Fair. Tajwer does not stand with Trump on his former order to ban immigrants from select countries. However, Tajwer feels that the protests have been an unifying experience as they exemplify the fight for liberty and true American patriotism.


How did you first hear about Trump’s former executive order to temporarily ban immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries?

News of the ban first made its way to a pretty conventional manner. My father has this habit of watching the news, namely CNN, in the morning, and I tend to tune in as well while hastily gulping down my breakfast. It was during this morning ritual that I first heard of the executive order in question.


What do you think led him to issue that order?

Trump’s a pretty nontransparent guy, so reading into his actual psychology and motives can be difficult. My own speculation would put him issuing this order down to an attempt to satisfy a certain segment of those voters who propelled him into power, some of whom are clamoring for him to act on the promises that he made during his campaign. You have to remember that far harsher forms of the ban were proposed back during the election season, including at one instance a complete ban on the entry of all foreign national Muslims whatsoever. Perhaps the current form of the ban was supposed to be a pilot program to test the waters for a possible extension of the program to the dimensions he described during the campaign, who knows? What seems to be relatively clear, though, is Trump has dedicated the last few weeks to attempting to fulfil a large assortment of his campaign promises, as hastily and crudely put-together as his attempts may be.


Do you agree with Trump’s decision?

I simply cannot in good conscience agree with Trump’s decision. The sort of logic that goes into policy actions such as this isn’t based off of sound analysis, but a sort of infantile reaction to fear. Fear is acutely present in many sectors of society in America; it’s only natural that with the economic stagnation of the rust belt, the security issues posed by terrorism and the media’s frenetic coverage of it, among other issues that have upturned the lives of many people, that the browning of America over time has elicited some concern. Looking back historically to legislation such as the Chinese Exclusion Act clearly indicates that this isn’t the first time that the “other” immigrating to the United States hasn’t received an exactly warm reception from some quarters. However, sweeping categorizations of any particular group of people lacks nuance to the extent that they are flat-out wrong. Punishing terrorists, or illegal immigrants, cannot be achieved by targeting the vast majority of law-abiding Muslim or Mexican doctors, teachers, or engineers, all of whom sow immense gains into the multifaceted fabric of this country. Problems exist, and I’m not denying that, but blunt, broad actions like Trump’s decision are not effective means of addressing them. Increased vetting is welcome if certain loopholes in our security can be successfully closed, but you really don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater by discriminating against large swathes of our population. That’s only a slippery slope from which only further discontent will be bred.


Has the ban on these immigrants affected you or your family?

The ban has not, as of yet, affected myself or my family, as my parents are from Pakistan and Pakistan wasn’t one of the seven countries implicated in the ban. However, the abrupt, haphazard manner in which the initial ban was executed have left us wary of possible essentially overnight extensions of the ban to other countries, including Pakistan. The slipshod fluidity of the definition of the people to whom the ban extends hasn’t added any reassurance to the situation. Even though we’re all lawful American citizens, the concern is still palpable that leaving the country to travel could one day actually lead to us being banned from returning. The court order lifting the ban feels like a temporary respite, not the dying breath of the drama, unfortunately. In terms of speaking out, friends of ours have participated in protests against the policy, but circumstances have thus far not been letting us to actually make ourselves over to one.


Do you feel that this ban has been unifying in a way, with a lot of people coming together to protest the former ban?

Certainly. Seeing my fellow Americans rally together to truly hold up the fundamental values of our country has been inspirational. You get to see the best America has to offer, find in our diversity and in our unity and strength, and you also get to see America’s true patriots, the defenders of her liberties, shine in the dynamicity of their action. Our country is still polarized as a whole, and we still have a lot of hard bridging to do between the chasms that have developed between various groups of people and political affiliations, but seeing much of the country rally against the ban has still proven to be a heartening experience.


Note: the ideas expressed in this article do not reflect the viewpoints of HiLite staff members.