At first glance, the travel ban seems to only affect a specific group of people. As a result, American citizens might not give this a second thought because it doesn’t directly affect them. However, when civil rights begin to diminish and no one says anything, the effect is soon felt throughout.
In times of national security, the constitution can be manipulated. We know because it’s happened before. After 9/11 the U.S. Patriot Act passed and lowered the threshold for fourth amendment searches and seizures from probable cause to reasonable suspicion. The manipulation is happening again, this time in the form of the travel ban.
What American citizens need to know is that the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001 eroded citizen’s rights protections from unlawful search and seizures. This is affecting U.S. citizens today. Many are being stopped, detained and interrogated at border patrol. Thanks to travel ban provisions, Americans are currently being deprived of their sixth amendment right which provides “an attorney if the accused person wants one.”
Which begs the question of: why is someone being stopped in the first place if they are not from the list of countries on the travel ban? The answer is easy. Because the early infringement of rights allows it so.
In simplified terms, the travel ban is opening the door to all U.S. citizen rights granted by the constitution, to be superseded by fear.
The first time around, Trump made the mistake of being too obvious on his intention to stem the flow of Muslims into the U.S. The original countries were: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Trump's stated reason for issuing the executive order was to prevent terrorism stemming from 9/11. Ultimately linking predominantly Muslim countries with terrorism attacks.
However, 15 of the 19, 9/11 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and the others were from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon. None hailed from the countries included on the original travel ban list. Trump is leveraging the similarity of physical appearances and a shared religion to propel his anti-demographic change agenda forward.
The new list now includes Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. Still no country with links to the 9/11 attackers or connections to domestic terrorism on U.S. soil.
Trump was voted into office on the platform of being a businessman and the new executive order reflects that mentality. He’s putting a lot effort into finding and exploiting loopholes in the Constitution the same way he’s done in his business dealings.
In the new, revised version of the travel ban, he throws in red herrings to satisfy the implications of establishment violations. There is virtually no immigration from North Korea to the United States, therefore, no real threat of protest. For Venezuela, the restrictions only impact government officials and their families. Chad, however, is a predominantly Muslim country. Many analysts are baffled by Trump’s decision to include Chad. Especially considering how the U.S. has partnered with Chad to fight radicals such as Boko Haram. But I’m not. Trump’s actions are obvious. He is passing executive orders eroding constitutional protections in order to halt Muslim populations in the United States.
I’m not imaging things either. Trump has asked for a “complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the United States and he’s manipulating the constitution to do so.
We cannot let this happen
The Constitution is in place to protect us from the overreach of the Executive Branch in time of threats to our national security. It is not to be circumvented and manipulated because something unfamiliar scares us. The constitution cannot protect itself. Much like the well-funded lobby groups advancing legislations for specific industries, the everyman has the ability and the responsibility to respond to attacks on the constitution. The fourth amendment and sixth amendment protections are the rights of all Americans and they are under fire. We need to fight for them today, regardless of whether or we are affected by the changes. After all, the average American citizen is the most powerful and largest lobby group there is, if we would only realize it.
If we continue to allow lawmakers to chip away at our constitutional rights. It will never stop and it’s only a matter of time before we have nothing left.