Red Card Roberts
January 31, 2017
There are many, many Sunday nights I open a Word document on my laptop and stare at the blinking cursor, willing it to move. I have no topic, no idea what to type, no words to fill this space in the paper. That's usually when I submit something about my dogs or don't use any contractions. It's amazing how much quicker you get to 700 words when you write out "will not, does not, has not" and the like.
But I suppose the one thing I have to look forward to in a Trump presidency is this: It's doubtful I'll struggle to find something to offer my opinion on these next four years.
It hasn't even been two weeks and the WTF moments (I have to abbreviate that one) have been so numerous, I had a hard time choosing which one to focus on. I might still have no words, but it's not for lack of material. Rather, it's just hard to find the words to express how you feel when you can't believe what's happening. There are only so many ways you can say, "I'm shocked/outraged/deeply saddened."
Though no doubt there will be further developments and likely an entirely new WTF executive order between my deadline and the printing of this column, I'm going to start with what is right now the most recent and pressing concern: the president's immigration ban.
People don’t flee their homes because they want a change in scenery. They don’t gather their children in the middle of the night, run barefoot through a warzone and jam their family onto an overcrowded raft for the experience.
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With little regard for innocent lives, the constitution or reality, Trump hastily signed on Friday an unclear and explosive executive order with global implications. Homeland security and border patrol agents were left to interpret the law on the job. There didn't even seem to be consideration given for green card holders cruising along at 30,000 feet the moment the ink hit the order, resulting in mass confusion, and later protests at airports across the country.
While the president has attempted to disguise this order as "extreme vetting," it's not lost on anyone this is the fulfillment of campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., a sound bite that got applause from a great number of people watching Fox News and members of the Westboro Baptist Church, but one few took seriously until last week. Partly because the promise was rooted in bigotry, but mostly because it is also unlawful, hence the nearly immediate ruling by federal judges to halt the ban.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 states no person can be "discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person's race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence."
The ban is also a direct violation of the Geneva Convention, which requires the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds.
But even if this action is later deemed perfectly legal, even if the president signs religious intolerance into law, even if you wholeheartedly support this ban, there's no justification for calling it necessary or humane.
People don't flee their homes because they want a change in scenery. They don't gather their children in the middle of the night, run barefoot through a warzone and jam their family onto an overcrowded raft for the experience. They don't tearfully wave goodbye to their children as they stand on the shore, knowing they'll likely never be reunited, but there was only room for one on that boat. No one does this unless the possibility of drowning in shark-infested waters is less frightening than staying behind.
Nobody does this unless it is the only thing they can do.
And to turn them away is not a political victory. It does not make us safer. If that were truly the goal, the ban would have included countries like Saudi Arabia, whose residents have actually killed Americans on our own soil. But none of the terrorists from the 9/11 attacks, or the Boston Marathon bombing, or the San Bernardino and Orlando shootings came from the seven countries listed in Trump's ban.
And if I can't convince you this ban is illegal, unconstitutional, unnecessary or inhumane, perhaps God can.
"When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 19:33-34.)
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident, and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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