Opinion
The United States should not slam the door on refugees
Old Gold & Black
By
Editorial Staff
Friday, February 3, 2017

The Editorial Staff of the Old Gold & Black believe that President Donald Trump’s executive order, which indefinitely suspends the resettlement of Syrian refugees and temporarily prohibits people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., departs from the most fundamental American values of equality and justice.

While the President’s intentions of improving safety and security within our borders does not go unheard, the Editorial Staff is concerned about the safety and wellbeing of Wake Forest students, families, faculty and staff who may be affected by the travel ban.

All politics aside, we urge the university to prioritize creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive campus atmosphere for all.

The travel ban is a testament to the president’s apathetic attitude towards humans forced from their homelands by circumstances in which they had no say. In addition, it wrongly clumps innocent Muslims with the atrocious acts of terrorists. Trump’s White House has violated the humanity of people who believed they had outrun suffering and fear to create new lives in a singularly hopeful nation.

According to research by the Cato Institute, not a single person from any of the seven countries included in the ban has killed anyone in a terror attack on American soil in the past 40 years.

Parents do not put their little children in rickety boats on the rough seas in order to act on animosities towards the U.S. — they do so because they have no other choice.

The unrighteousness of this policy should be enough to prompt Congress, the courts and the more responsible members of Trump’s cabinet into brisk and decisive action. The Old Gold & Black commends the legislators and politicians who have demonstrated rapid opposition.

In addition, the resolute leadership of the American Civil Liberties Union, which secured a temporary injunction to block the deportation of people stranded in U.S. airports, was a critical component of initial resistance to the policy.

We must not allow the pessimism from Trump’s White House to consume our country. Rather, we must rekindle the spirit of the poem inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me / I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

In time, but not without hard work and resistance, the ideology represented by the golden door will overcome this seemingly closed-door policy. America cannot be America without its spirit of welcome to the “homeless and tempest-tossed;” after all, that is how we Americans came to be.