Trump’s Second Travel Ban Still Violates American Principles

By George Cassidy Payne

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President Trump and his advisers either purposely or accidentally fail to realize that this country is bound together by the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These principles apply to all people. To be American means that a person is shaped, guided, represented and protected by certain inalienable laws. It has nothing to do with geography, language, race, or religious beliefs.

For more than two centuries the hope has been that America can live up to its promise and be a land of openness, trust, and love of diversity. Regardless of age, gender, race, class, sexual orientation, and political ideology, the promise has been that we can be one nation because we are one species. In fact, whenever we have tried to realize this promise our IMG_20140924_143514326[1]nation has paved the way for groundbreaking achievements in the arts and sciences. (The names of Alexander Graham Bell and Albert Einstein come readily to mind.)

It is the immigrant and refugee who has been our greatest legacy. If for no other justifiable reason, the world admires us because we are a nation of immigrants and refugees. From the first people to trek across the Bering Strait to the next migrant who crosses the Mexican-Texas border, America is America because they are here.

On this subject, I really appreciate the way James Madison spoke when he said: “America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts.”

IMG_3381[1]Even more profound for me are the words of Cesar Chavez. The Catholic social justice activist said: “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”

With the words of these two remarkable Americans in mind, President Trump’s second attempt at a travel ban against Muslims is just as cynical and unconstitutional as the failed version a month ago. Not only does it betray the economic and political interests of the United States as an international power, it dishonors the rich legacy of immigrants and refugees who have given their blood, sweat and tears to make this country what it is today. If I may speak on behalf of the dead, the statesman Madison and the activist Chavez would have been appalled by Trump’s irrational and illegal ban.

George Cassidy Payne
Humanities Instructor at SUNY FLCC
Founder, Gandhi Earth Keepers International

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Published in: on March 15, 2017 at 9:45 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. Very appropriate indeed! I often think about my own parents in relation to how they would view the agenda of this new administration. I think both of them, in spite of being Republican, would have seriously considered emigrating elsewhere by this time, and probably strongly encouraged their offspring to do the same!

  2. The right to vent who comes in is a national security issue. At present, refugees from several Muslim countries have ISIS operatives coming in among them. The article does not mention this aspect and also does not mention the difference between legally entering the United States and coming in without being vented. We have a problem of drugs and human trafficking coming though our borders and even guns as attested by the Fast and Furious operation long ago. When I went to Iraq as a soldier in 2008 mobilizing through Ft. Bliss, we were told stories about several soldiers who were court marshalled for their assistance in the human trafficking industry. Why do we bury our heads about the plight of those who are kidnapped, forcefully hooked on drugs, and forcing rape and sexual acts on these women? when it comes to slowing down those with evil intent, the victims are collateral damage for a political malcontent who cares more for power than being objective. Why do we not hold Mexico responsible for their corruption and not cracking down on the drug cartel in their own borders? Where are the bishops in Mexico when it comes to the plight of their citizens fleeing to the USA? The host countries of these refugees and immigrants not applying through legal means share in the responsibility of their plight and need to be accountable. Is FAN a Democrat wing of the Secular Franciscan Order repeating talking points of one political party? Please offer balance and apply Rule 13 of the Secular Franciscan Order. We can be above petty politics as a Catholic Order.


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