Just one week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order on immigration, people from around the nation have started a movement to ensure that their voices are heard – Manhattan College students included.
Students of the college community have been speaking out in a civil manner on the effects of the executive order and the impact it can have on the nation and the lives of its citizens. Commonly denoted as “The Muslim Ban,” the executive order President Trump has signed limits the number of immigrants coming into America by prohibiting seven predominantly muslim countries from coming in for 90 days and banning all refugees for 120 days.
Throughout this past week, there have been multiple discussions and acts of solidarity organized by several clubs and organizations for those affected by the ban, both from the muslim community at the college and for those who are just generally concerned about President Trump’s actions.
Just this past Friday, students and faculty of different religions and members from a local synagogue joined together with Muslim Chaplain Imam Samer Alraey, for the Jummah prayer. Events such as this one will continue to be occurring throughout the coming weeks. Despite these peaceful gatherings, the executive order of President Trump is still looming in student’s minds.
Brooke Judge, a psychology major, said that she doesn’t think that the executive order “is the answer because a lot of the terrorism that goes on in this country is domestic, it’s not muslims. A lot of the shootings are done by non-muslims and all of these attacks are non-muslims so I don’t think it’s going to take out the terrorism.”
Shai Barat, an allied health major, noted that there is a nation that has been excluded from the list even though it is the area where the terrorists involved in the attacks on 9/11 were from.
“If you want to break it down, 15 out of 20 or so terrorists from the 9/11 attack were from a country that is not even banned,” Barat said.
Like Barat other students have questioned how much of the ban is for security purposes and how much of it is for discrimination against a religion.
“It’s not about safety. It’s never been about that in my personal opinion. This is a country that is built on immigrants. It is a country that is built on immigration. You can’t just leave a whole group of people based on religious beliefs,” Barat said.
For the majority of the student body, this is their first time participating in a presidential election. As a result, some students are still trying to identify their personal political beliefs and ideologies. Victoria Pacheco, a secondary education major, is one of many students who are still trying to make sense of the different points of view of the executive order.
“I’m just trying to figure out both sides. I’m trying to figure out the Republicans viewpoint of it, and to me it really does not make sense but I’m trying to keep my mind open to it,” Pacheco said.
People of different faith traditions gather and discuss politics that relate to their respective faiths. Aaron Mayorga/ The Quadrangle.
John Balsamo, a government major, also has mixed feeling on the executive order in saying that “…we all know that the countries listed in the order are oozing with bad people but at the same time how can we turn our backs on millions trying to flee for a better life?”
Despite his conflicting feelings on the order, Balsamo continues by expressing his appreciation for the college community in their efforts to allow people to voice their beliefs and concerns and showing support for those affected.
“I do believe that from what I have seen, the college is very accepting and ‘pro-refugee’ as one might expect at a Catholic College,” he said.