Immigration ban. The president’s new travel restrictions cause controversy.

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“This is not about politics, it’s about humanity,” a sign read at one of many protests across the United States throughout January and February.

On Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed a controversial executive order which indefinitely banned Syrian refugees from the United States, as well as suspending the entrance of travelers to the United States from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia for 90 days.

Supporters of the ban have been quick to point out that previous presidents, such as Barack Obama, once issued orders temporarily banning refugees from entering the country.

What’s notably different about January’s executive order is how Trump has singled out specific Muslim-majority countries in his ban, citing the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks as justification. However, none of the countries included in Trump’s executive order have any direct ties to the 9/11 attacks.

The United States has always been known as a melting pot, in which various races, religions, and cultures can live peacefully.

More importantly, though, is that our nation has historically been the place that an immigrant would travel to in search of a better life. Whether it was to escape a poverty, persecution, or civil war, the United States has provided a safe haven for people looking to start over.

Unless your ancestors were Native American, they were immigrants to the United States, too. It is time for us to truly accept and welcome refugees in need to our country, just as our ancestors were.

As citizens, we have to ask ourselves whether Trump’s executive order is really protecting Americans as it claims, when there isn’t even a true threat in the first place.

First of all, it must be noted that the religion of Islam is not synonymous with terrorism. Even former President George W. Bush recognized this in his “Islam is Peace” speech that he famously delivered after the 9/11 attacks. In the speech, he condemned the intimidation of Muslims across the country, stating that “That should not and that will not stand in America.”

President Bush was right. The discrimination of anyone, Muslim or not, cannot be tolerated by any American.

But what about other refugees entering the country that may be of a different faith? As CNN pointed out, there is a one in 3.6 million chance of dying in a terrorist attack committed by someone born in a foreign country. To put that in perspective, the odds of getting struck by lightning are about one in 960,000.

On the same token, on average, nine people in the U.S. have been killed each year since 9/11 by a Muslim extremist. However, almost 13,000 people in the United States are killed by guns annually.

This poses the question — what’s really threatening the lives and safety of Americans? Is it Muslims, immigrants, or fear and ignorance? The fact of the matter is, lightning and guns are more likely to hurt or kill Americans than any immigrant or Muslim is.

Perhaps instead of targeting refugees in need of help, Mr. Trump should focus on more important issues, like releasing his tax returns, addressing his relationship with Russia, or explaining his various business conflicts.

This isn’t about political issues, like taxes or cabinet positions. This is an issue of humanity and compassion.

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