Editorial: Trump's immigration ban
There is something to be said about a country that denies the huddled masses it beckons for on its foremost symbol of liberty. There is also something to be said for a school so rich in the flaunting of its diversity that it decides to do the “status quo” in protection of the international students entrusted to its care.
President Donald Trump issued a starkly divisive executive order on Jan. 27, temporarily barring visas for people from seven majority-Muslim countries and indefinitely suspending the settlement of Syrian refugees.
Thousands took to the streets to protest what many proclaimed was a euphemism for a ban on Muslims. Here at MSU, the university decided only to follow regulation and code, instead of taking a stand to be more, to do more.
At The State News, disappointment with the actions of those in power, both in the White House and at the university, is an understatement.
The executive order issued by Trump is one of ignorance and fear of a people he knows little about nor attempts to know. It feigned poorly to be about preventing terrorism as the order invoked Sept. 11, 2001 but left out Saudi Arabia — home to a majority of the hijackers on that infamous day.
Trump’s cowardly stance turned away battered refugees who had already mustered through a years-long vetting process to enter a country many had been told was a beacon of hope, a “shining city on a hill” free from the horrors of war.
As he so often conveyed throughout his campaign, Trump’s ignorance shone through again as the ban was implemented on Holocaust Remembrance Day. It rankled up images of the United States turning away Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, many of whom would later die in camps.
If it was meant to prevent terrorism, it has done little other than to add more fuel to the ISIS fire. If ISIS is America’s greatest threat, Trump has given them an early lead in the fight.
One has to wonder if America’s allies in the Middle East ought to continue to do business with American interests if policy is to vilify their faith.
Closer to home, as the news broke, MSU was largely silent. No statement was issued until The State News pressed for one. The statement, as it so often does, came back in the full throated yell of public relations, laden with talk of it being “status quo” not to release immigration information of students.
The statement, too, was misread by many as MSU taking a stance against Trump, with the reality of it all being MSU cowered behind standard operating procedure. Though the university can be commended for reaching out to affected students and faculty, it comes across as little more than a timid attempt at help. Perhaps MSU is pinned in a corner, still trying to feel out an administration that will test many of the institution's core values.
President Lou Anna K. Simon’s statement following the ban was little more than a regurgitation of the university's principles devoid of any strong condemnation of an ignorant, futile ban. The university could have taken a firm stance against the administration in a time of uncertainty, with many looking for America’s proud institutions to keep a bumbling administration in check.
The State News will continue to stand with students of all backgrounds it serves and without question condemns Trump’s ban as puerile, ignorant and against the very values America holds dear.
The State News Editorial Board is made up of the Editor-in-chief Jake Allen, Managing Editor Cameron Macko, Campus Editor Rachel Fradette, City Editor Stephen Olschanski, Sports Editor Souichi Terada, Features Editor McKenna Ross, Copy Chief Casey Holland, Staff Representative Marie Weidmayer and Diversity Representative Madison O'Connor.
Madison O'Connor and Marie Weidmayer did not sit in on this editorial.