Sean Davis examines the hypocrisy surrounding Trump’s immigration ban.
Remember after the height of the Irish Immigration to our country, back in 1870 when president Ulysses S. Grant banned the millions of Irish refugees after the Potato Famine because they were seen as poverty-stricken burdens who were taxing our legal system, stealing our jobs, and spreading their unpopular Catholic religion? No? Me either. If that had happened, my Irish refugee ancestors wouldn’t have eventually had my Irish father who married my Hispanic mother (from another immigrant family).
On January 27th of this year, Donald Trump signed an executive order entitled, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Coincidently, January 27th was Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Trump administration never said a word about the death of over six million Jews. Why? Spokeswoman Hope Hicks said, “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.”
What a beautiful sentiment, caring about all who suffer. This of course is one of the principles our country was founded on. We even projected that sentiment to the world with a great monument. On the Statue of Liberty, for all to see, there is a poem, and I’d like to share it. I know poetry is not popular in today’s political scene, you know, with our executive branch wanting to cut funding to the National Endowment of the Art and the National Endowment of Humanities, but this poem was a huge part in the founding of our country and has been presented this to the world our entire history. It still stands today:
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Now, let’s look at another bit of text. This is from the fourth paragraph of Trump’s immigration ban, “In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.” I ask, what about the politicians in office who bear hostile attitudes toward our country and its founding principles?
Since the executive order itself mentions the attacks of September 11th, 2001 (presumably to incite fear and anger to help justify the unconstitutionality of it), I will too. The day after September 11th I reenlisted in the military and later I went to war in Iraq. The reasoning behind our preemptive strikes and Shock and Awe was because we needed to stop the tyrannic rule the Iraqis lived under. We started a war because we believed that the Iraqi people needed to live in a democracy. The war we started destabilized their country and as a direct result terrorist groups like ISIS formed. And now some of the Iraqi citizens who we told need to live under democratic leadership are fleeing their country and we are banning them from coming here. We wanted them to live under a democracy, just not our democracy?
Thousands of Americans have died in this war, thousands more injured, including myself. I didn’t volunteer to go to war out of some need for revenge. I went because I believed in our way of life. I believed that our country is the best civilization that has ever existed on this planet. I believed we were a beacon to the world and I believed in the words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
The ban was suspended by our checks and balances and remains suspended after an appeal, but we need to keep fighting this. We cannot let a new Colossus stand as a symbol of our country. A colossal hypocrite who is just as unAmerican as the people he says he’s trying to protect us from.