Unsteady “American dream”

Tuesday, 2017-02-14 04:09:18
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Security at US airports has been tightened after the temporary ban on entries. (Credit: CBP)
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NDO—Immediately after taking the oath of office on January 20, US President Donald Trump started working towards his objective of “making America great again” through a series of decrees concerning both domestic and foreign affairs.

In particular, the executive order which temporarily bars immigrants and citizens from several countries with Muslim majorities from travelling to the US has become not only a hot topic for the US but has also raised questions for the world on the value of the “American dream” in the context of the new situation.

In recent days, the US has continued to witness a fierce legal battle between the executive branch and the justice system regarding the temporary ban on certain entries to the US decreed by President Trump on January 27.

President Trump has called for refugees to be denied entry into the US for 120 days, with refugees from Syria indefinitely prohibited, and for citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries—Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen—to be denied entry for 90 days.

On February 7, a federal appeals court in San Francisco, California, conducted a hearing to consider whether to restore President Trump’s immigration order or not, after the directive was dismissed by a US federal judge as unconstitutional and contrary to the fundamental rights of human beings respected by the US.

Analysts said that this was a blow to President Trump. In response, the new administration said that the drafting and issuance of the entry ban is explicitly aimed at protecting the US against terrorist threats while extremist terrorism has shown no signs of cooling down across the world.

Results from a recent survey showed that 49% of American adults asked expressed support for Trump’s order, while 31% said they felt safer thanks to the ban. Public opinion says that with this ban, Trump can prevent many extremist terrorists from entering the US, thereby avoiding terrorist attacks similar to the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, which shocked the world and serves as a grim reminder to US leaders about the importance of national security.

Besides the issue of national security, the president's ban also creates significant challenges for Washington economically. Experts predicted that the ban is likely to make the US economy grow more slowly, as tourism and higher education are seriously affected.

In addition, the order has also forced large US companies and corporations to completely change their method of recruitment. In early February, about 100 US corporations, including giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft filed a legal brief with a US federal appeals opposing the travel ban, saying that the order goes contrary to the principle of ensuring fairness and adversely affects their business operations. Of the 500 leading technology companies in the US, more than 200 were established by immigrants.

Despite the strong reaction from the international community and Americans, Trump still seeks to reverse the court’s decision, paving the way for the entry ban’s enforcement. Separately, the adverse developments in the US migrant worker market pushed open the door to the interests of other labour markets, including the US’s neighbour, Canada.

Only a few days after the issuance of Trump’s order, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered to provide temporary residence permit and many opportunities to find a job in Canada for those displaced by the ban on entries into the US. It means that the tech industry in Canada will enjoy better labour recruitment opportunities.

According to experts, the common point in the new orders by the US new president is aimed at maximising the protection of US interests from the perspective of a businessman who became president with no political experience.

However, if Washington does not offer a clear and convincing plan, the risk of badly affected foreign relations and divisions within the US will be obvious, making the goal of reviving the US an even thornier issue.