It is getting increasingly difficult to tolerate the constant deluge of news about Trump’s anti-immigration policies, actions and attitudes. Just today, he issued two executive orders affecting immigration. The one on border security and immigrant enforcement includes building a wall along our border with Mexico. The second focuses on public safety in the interior of the US. Enforcement of US laws and removal of criminal aliens sounds reasonable, but that is only so if they are executed with fairness and justice and not based on fear-mongering and xenophobia.
Also, it is important to evaluate our immigration laws to determine if they are even wise, logical and fair. For example, the lack of sufficient numbers and types of nonimmigrant visas that allow foreigners to work in the US is woeful and only harms the US economy and creates a shadow one, impedes the prosecution of crimes (since undocumented workers are afraid to report them) and exploits workers. If we simply allowed for more foreigners to work in the US based on sponsorship by employers then we would drastically reduce the problem of undocumented workers in the US and generate enormous gains for our economy and public safety.
Finally, egregious stereotyping of Muslims or those from “hostile” countries is inimical to our strong values of an open, tolerant, compassionate and diverse society. It makes me heartsick to think of all of those Syrian refugees who have lost everything and suffered extreme trauma who will be turned away just because of their nationality. We already employ extensive vetting processes. It is true that no system may be completely foolproof but that is no excuse for eradicating the system altogether. Life is a careful balancing act and always involves risks and in this case the need of these refugees and the reputation of our country as the standard-bearer of democracy and the land of immigrants far outweighs the disadvantages of an outright ban on welcoming refugees.