Just a few short days ago, newly elected US President Donald Trump signed an executive order which placed a temporary ban on all refugees from Muslim-majoirty middle eastern and African countries such as Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia. In addition to new refugees being banned, the ban extends to those who hold green cards or Visas but happen to be outside of the United States when the order took effect. Implementing a ban on Muslim travel was an idea Trump had while he was campaigning for President. This idea came after the tragic killing of 14 people in San Bernardino, California by husband and wife team Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
However, would a ban on Muslim travel have been able to prevent this senseless tragedy? The answer is no, the ban would not have had any impact on Farook or Malik from entering the United States. It also turns out that the ban that Trump has signed into effect would not have impacted any of those who are Muslim that have committed acts of terror on United States soil over the past few years. It turns out that no person who has been admitted into the US as a refugee has been a part of a major terrorist act since the Refugee Act of 1980 was put into place.
There have been several major fatal terroristic acts that have taken place on US soil over the last few years, however let’s take a look at who committed these atrocious acts. First, the San Bernardino attacks, mentioned above, committed by Farook and Malik left 14 people dead. Farook was born in Chicago, an American citizen by birth. His wife Malik was born in Pakistan and raised in Saudi Arabia. Malik came to the United States as Farook’s fiancee, part of the K-1 Visa program and was later granted permanent residence status.
On September 17th, 2016, bombs were detonated in New York and New Jersey which left many injured. Ahmad Khan Rahimi, who was born in Afghanistan, is facing charges for those bombs. Rahimi became a United States citizen in 2011.
In 2013, the Boston Marathon was the target of a bombing by two brothers- Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The Tsarnaev family had arrived in the US when Dzhokhar was young and granted political asylum. The brothers were originally born in Kyrgyzstan and raised in the war-torn country of Chechnya.
Omar Mateen, an American born in New York, was behind one of the worst mass murders in recent history. Mateen is responsible for murdering 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in June 2016. While Mateen is American, he is of Afghani decent. His wife, who has recently been charged in the case, is also an American citizen who’s parents came from the West Bank.
Lastly, there are 19 men responsible for the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 which killed thousands of people. Of those men responsible, one was from Egypt, one was from Lebanon, two were from the United Arab Emirates, and the remaining from Saudi Arabia.
This begs the question, why are the seven countries listed in the executive order there while these other countries, which have actually produced terrorists are not? It is clear that these countries are not listed on the ban while it remains to be answered why the others are.