An outburst of both support and opposition for Trump’s recent ban on immigrants from certain countries has flooded the news and social media platforms since Trump signed the executive order on Friday. While many have touted the decision as necessary and compared it to similar actions from both former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, others have called it unconstitutional and heavy protesting has occurred at some airports where immigrants are being held.
The executive order effectively banned any new arrivals from seven countries, many of which have thousands of citizens fleeing war everyday, and have a Muslim-majority population. Though the ban does not explicitly ban Muslims, Trump’s previous statements about wanting to ban Muslims from entering the country for national security reasons have people believing that this is Trump’s way of banning people of that faith.
In uncertain times such as these, people are turning to the political and social figures they admire most and one of those figures is Malala Yousafzai, a teenager who has strongly advocated for education for girls in her native country, Pakistan. She has turned her voice into a global movement and supported education for women in all countries, and as a result was shot in the face by the Taliban when she was just 15 years old.
Though Trump’s order curiously leaves out Pakistan in the banned countries, there’s no question that Malala would respond to this new law because she is Muslim and an advocate for human rights. In her statement on Facebook, she said,
“I am heartbroken that today President Trump is closing the door on children, mothers, and fathers fleeing violence and war. I am heartbroken that America is turning its back on a proud history of welcoming refugees and immigrants — the people who helped build your country, ready to work hard in exchange for a fair chance at a new life.
I am heartbroken that Syrian refugee children, who have suffered through six years of war by no fault of their own, are singled-out for discrimination.”
While everyone understands wanting to protect the nation from terrorists, many have argued that it’s unfair to turn away refugees fleeing deadly wars in their own country. That’s what Malala’s statement touches on because there are so many refugees, from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, and other countries, that are in need of help but now have one less country that they can turn to. Malala pointed to a personal story to appeal to the hearts of Americans and Donald Trump:
“I am heartbroken for girls like my friend Zaynab, who fled wars in three countries — Somalia, Yemen and Egypt — before she was even 17. Two years ago she received a visa to come to the United States. She learned English, graduated high school and is now in college studying to be a human rights lawyer.
Zaynab was separated from her little sister when she fled unrest in Egypt. Today her hope of being reunited with her precious sister dims.”
It’s often argued that when refugees enter a new country, they are not contributing to America and instead are living off of welfare programs that taxpayers fund. Malala’s friend Zaynab is proof that this is not true for every refugee or immigrant, and that many can go on to become important contributors to this great country. The human rights advocate ended her post with this plea:
“In this time of uncertainty and unrest around the world, I ask President Trump not to turn his back on the world’s most defenseless children and families.”
Donald Trump is unlikely to receive messages such as these well, as he has certainly heard it thousands of times over from others that disapprove of the decision. However, if those opposed continue to bombard him with similar messages, it’s possible that he could be swayed into pursuing a different path with regards to national security.
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