By Sophia Alexandrou
With the 2020 election around the corner, it is becoming more difficult to pay attention to any major decisions made by the President. One of these decisions made in the past month is an addition to the President’s travel ban first instituted in 2017, which banned people from primarily Muslim countries from immigrating to the United States. President Trump has recently decided to include six African countries in this ban. While Trump claims the motive behind this decision is to protect the United States, it clear that the real reasons lie within the deeply racist and xenophobic views President Trump holds.
This travel ban which was signed by Trump last month, went into effect on February 22, 2020. The countries added to the ban are the African nations of Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. The current administration claims that this was passed because these countries are a threat to the safety and prosperity of the United States. This, however, is completely invalid. Administration officials say that this travel ban could protect against any future terrorists coming from one of these countries, specifically Nigeria. While Nigeria is home to a terrorist organization called the Boko Haram, they have never placed an attack on American soil. In addition, if this administration were actually worried about terrorism, they would have completely banned the entry of Nigerians into the country, but they haven’t. Nigerians are still allowed to travel to the United States; they just cannot stay there permanently. Another argument made by the administration is the economic toll that these countries would place on the United States. However, Nigerians are among some of the most successful groups of immigrants. Many even surpass the success held by native born Americans.
Since these countries do not pose a real threat to the safety of Americans and the success of the economy, the only reason left as to why President Trump decided to add these countries to the travel ban is his own racism. In 2017 when talking about Haitian immigrants, the President has stated, “They all have AIDS.” When talking about Nigerian immigrants, the President has stated that once they saw America, they would never “go back to their huts.” Evidently, the President has a pretty negative view of African nations.
Something that is even clearer is where his true intentions lie. For the President, it would not matter if these countries made the United States a million times more affluent and made the military a million times stronger. The only thing that matters to him is the fact that these people are black and to Trump, that’s not good enough. In 1973, there was a lawsuit filed against Trump Management Company after employees were told to tell African American applicants for an apartment, that there were none left. In response to the lawsuit, the future President of the United States said, “You don’t want to live with them either.” This is one of the many examples of Trump’s deep history with racism against the black community.
Though immigration policies are important and not everyone should be allowed to enter the United States, that should not be on the basis of race, nationality, or religion. The only thing this travel ban will accomplish is the spreading of the message that you are only welcome in the United States if you are white. It will show other countries how the phrase, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” only applies to a specific group of people.
History will not be kind to an administration that commits extreme acts of racism and xenophobia and tries to cover it up by saying that it is what is best for this country.