By Josh Hart – Collegiate Staff
Now almost two weeks after Justice James Robart of Seattle restrained enforcement of the president’s executive order restricting travel from seven middle eastern countries, it is unknown what the fate of the “travel ban” will be. There are multiple judicial proceedings in motion throughout the country paralleled by public protest on both sides of the issue. There’s no doubt about it, the eventual conclusion is up-in-the-air. With Feb. 13th’s resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (, a conceivable trial over the executive order’s validity looming in the coming months, Americans are waiting with those around the globe for a clear understanding of the United States’ position.
President Trump initially responded with confidence when challenged by the judicial branch, tweeting “SEE YOU IN COURT.” But with the order lodged in the courts and rising commotion surrounding the issue, a change in tactic is feasible. On Feb. 9, the President told reporters on Air Force One that the administration is considering an alternative order very similar to the first.
With options on the table, Trump remains confident that his lawyers can win the battle over the original order’s legality if they choose that route. The Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, later affirmed that statement by acknowledging that the White House is weighing its various options in lower and upper courts.
Despite the current unpredictability of a resolution, we can still grasp a decent idea of what an eventual lawful order will contain. Like it or not, a lot of the almost 3,000-word executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” adheres with the constitution.
President Trump does have the lawful power to halt refugees from coming to America. The portion of the order banning Syrian refugees indefinitely, as well as the ban of all refugee admission for a tentative 120 days will stand one way or another. Referencing the Pew Research Center’s data in the past 38 years, this year will most likely be the fifth accepting under 50,000 refugees to America. Within the executive order, the President declared a decrease of the max number of refugees allowed ashore from 110,000 to 50,000.
Due to the executive branch’s wide-ranging power regarding immigration, the portions of the executive order that implements “extreme vetting” of foreign nationals will most likely stand. Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 makes the President’s restrictions on additional issuances of visas from the listed middle eastern countries legal as well. What is yet to be determined is the fate of individuals living in, studying in or visiting the U.S. from these countries that have already completed vetting procedures.
Halting the freedom of travel of these visa or green-card holding foreign nationals is one of the cited issues by the Washington state Attorney General in the request for the restraining order. Washington, as well as Minnesota, argued that this portion of the executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful and threatening to their state’s economies. This and the order’s leniency towards religious minorities in the seven predominantly Muslim nations are two portions of the order the Trump administration is assumedly considering fighting in court, or scraping in a new executive order.
The viewpoints of young adults (18-29 years old) on issues such as national security are too often ignored, despite being 21% of the eligible voting population according to CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement). With this in mind, we collected a few perspectives on this “travel ban” from students here at Grand Rapids Community College.
Trang Nguyen, a 19-year-old out of Wyoming, dislikes a couple aspects of the President’s executive order. She was born in the Philippines, and is currently on the path to citizenship in the US.
“As a visa holder myself, I personally believe it’s unfair that these visa holders’ families don’t have a path to follow their family members to the US, simply because of where they were born,” Nguyen said. She also expressed concern of the generalization of Muslims, and would appreciate an absence of religious prioritizing in a new order.
Caleb Secley, a 20-year-old from Hudsonville doesn’t disagree with a lot of the executive order.
“There’s good intention behind the executive order, so he should forget about the process of fighting it in court and write a new one that’s similar that can be enacted,” Secley said.
Brendan Cassell, a 21-year-old from Byron Center held a similar opinion.
“I don’t believe there’s anything unconstitutional with the executive order,” Cassell said. “But instead of continuing the delay of it, Trump should appease to the challenges to minor parts and create a new executive order.”