Donald Trump’s so-called, “Muslim ban,” directly impacting seven countries (more than 218 million people and all refugees) and the general flow of immigration to the United States has triggered fear, loathing and protests globally.
Subsequently, we learned three key members of the Trump inner circle; Defense Secretary James Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, who is up for confirmation to be Trump’s Secretary of State, allegedly were not informed of the details of the directive, until it was actually signed by Trump.
Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)
The ban, constitutionally and morally flawed in the eyes of many was rejected by acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, on Jan. 30, who said in a statement, “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities (of the attorney general), nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful,” Yates said. By Monday evening Yates was fired by Trump. Moments after her firing was announced Trump, of course, disparaged Yates’ character and accused her of, “(betraying) the department of justice.” Trump’s treatment of Yates has many invoking memories of, “the Saturday Night Massacre,” during the Nixon administration in 1973.
Beyond the uneven machinations of the Trump administration, the travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries has had a direct impact on the campus of Morgan State University.
Morgan’s president Dr. David Wilson addressed his campus in a statement, dated Jan. 28 in reference to the ban.
“Last night, President Trump signed an Executive Order, which, among other things, imposes a ban on individuals entering the United States from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Somalia,” Wilson stated. “Please know that we have several members of our Morgan family who hail from some of the above countries, and whose family members are still there. It is probably safe to assume that President Trump’s order will be challenged in the courts, but in the interim, we are left with many questions. For example, we don’t know just who is covered by this order or exactly how it will be implemented. Based on what we are seeing in the media today, a number of individuals are being prevented from entering and, in some cases, re-entering the United States,” added Wilson.
Morgan’s president also offered this warning to his students. “While we will continue to monitor the impact of this executive order, we believe it may be prudent to delay any plans you have to travel internationally until we are able to get more clarity on President Trump’s order,” Wilson stated.
One of those Morgan students directly impacted by Trump’s Muslim ban reached out to Wilson via an email message in the midst of the chaos sparked globally by Trump’s impetuous immigration and refugee mandate.
“I write this email to let you know that, I went back home for a family emergency. One of my family member passed way last weekend. I heard about President Trump order while I was back home and I’m from Yemen which is one of the seven countries that are ban from entering United States,” the student (whose name was not released) wrote to Wilson. “I went to the American embassy to ask if I’m allowed to enter United States, they told I cannot and I might be able to enter after ninety days. So, I’m not going to be able to attend Spring 2017 semester. However, I am going to attend the next semester,” the Yemeni student wrote.
I have no hard evidence (yet), but I suspect this scenario is playing itself out at other HBCU’s all over the country; young men and women working hard to secure what for many is an important component of the so-called American Dream, a quality university education. And in some ways, the pursuit by foreign born students, many fleeing persecution and oppression in the countries of their birth is the essence of the inscription associated with the Statue of Liberty.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.”
And these young people (almost all people of color) like the Yemeni student barred from re-entry to the United States to complete their education are among the first casualties of the Trump administration’s inherently xenophobic, inherently racist foreign policy.
Sean Yoes is a senior contributor for the AFRO, and host and executive producer of AFRO First Edition, which airs Monday through Friday, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on WEAA, 88.9.