On November 8th, 2016 one of our country’s most controversial electoral results became reality as Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States of America. The day of November 9th, 2016 was comprised of people waking up in shock, often in tears of joy or sadness. It is now October of 2017 and America is still split practically in two, both sides dissecting Trump’s every single move, every character he tweets, and every word he speaks. Our country is paying attention to the most microscopic details of Trump’s actions in an effort to classify them as “good” or “bad”. Nationwide, citizens are primarily focusing on Trump’s policies that he feels will best help our country. Specifically, one of Trump’s policies is affecting the community of Ridgewood and the people who live here: the travel ban. It is imperative for local community members to examine this policy and to take note of how it affects our community.
The travel ban was a policy announced early this year that put travel restrictions on multiple countries, mostly in the Middle East. Since this temporary travel ban was announced, it faced a myriad of legal challenges, leading Trump and his administration to change the policy earlier this school year. The new travel ban applies to eight countries: North Korea, Syria, Chad, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Iran and Venezuela. Each of these countries has different restrictions, some more harsh than others. For North Korea and Syria, entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants is suspended. Travelers from Chad, Yemen and Libya are allowed entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants, yet some business and tourist visas have been suspended. The entry of immigrants from Somalia is suspended and nonimmigrants traveling to the United States face enhanced screening and vetting requirements. Immigrants and nonimmigrants from Iran are suspended except under valid student and exchange visitor visas, but they will have enhanced screening and vetting requirements. Lastly, the entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members and some Venezuelan business and tourist visas is now suspended. Although Trump added North Korea, this ban continues to be targeted mainly at countries with predominantly Muslim populations.
This policy affects Ridgewood for a few reasons, but most significantly it could lead to the separation of family members. In particular, if someone who lives in Ridgewood has family in any of these eight countries, those family members may be restricted from traveling to the United States and Ridgewood residents can not visit them. The travel ban could also potentially affect Ridgewood employers and their employees. If Employees’ families are not be able to visit them, these workers may eventually leave the United States and return home, which means the possible loss of employees in Ridgewood.
Ultimately, Trump and his administration have tried to pass many different policies, but many of them have been rejected because of our governmental system. The travel ban is one of the most well known of Trump’s many new initiatives, and it clearly affects Ridgewood and the people who make their homes here.
Graphic: Anika Tsapatsaris