From The Editor’s Desk: We stand with immigrants

Following the election of President Donald Trump, we have seen great changes in our country. United States-centric sentiments are on the rise, and many minority groups feel ostracized and attacked. Perhaps the most controversial of the new policies are President Trump’s immigration reforms. On Jan. 27, just days after the inauguration, the President signed an executive order banning citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (Muslim- majority countries in the Middle East) from traveling to the US for the 90 days to follow. Refugees from Syria, which is currently suffering from a massive refugee crisis, are also banned indefinitely. While the travel ban recently went through some revisions, including the removal of Iraq from the ban list, it still has unsettling undertones of Islamophobia and extreme nationalism. Additionally, plans to build the campaign-promised Mexican-American border wall are moving forward despite outcry against it. Under President Trump’s administration, the Department of Homeland Security has been directed to enforce immigration laws more militantly, targeting immigrants even if they have no committed serious crimes. Supporters of President Trump’s new policies are happy he’s following through with the promise from his inaugural address to “put America first.” However, such nationalist sentiments are dangerous to our political relationships and the well-being of our worldwide dynamics. By instating such broad travel bans and refusing asylum based on religious affiliation or country of origin, we betray American ideals and promises, like the one the Statue of Liberty proclaims, to shelter “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Our country is a country of immigrants. The claim that the travel ban is against terrorism is absurd, since none of the radical Islamic terror attacks on U.S. soil in the past decade have been committed by anyone from any of the banned countries. Some teenagers might say they don’t want to engage in politics because it isn’t directly affecting their lives. But being informed and engaged in political news and civil debate is crucial, even for young people, because it is directly affecting us! For instance, in the Christina School District, the school board just voted “no” on becoming a sanctuary school for undocumented students. After the election, conversations among Dickinson students who are immigrants or who have immigrant parents were fearful about what the future looks like for their families and friends. At least 2 students at Dickinson did not come to school in support of the Day Without Immigrants, on February 16. Here at The Dickinson Patriot, we believe that by refusing anyone from entering our country, we are claiming that Americans have more of a right to safety and security than others do. This us-them dichotomy is harmful and anti-American. Students like us are the next generation of activists and advocates, and it is our responsibility to work harder than ever to ensure of the safety and diversity of our world. Opinions expressed in this piece are the opinions of the student staff of The Dickinson Patriot, as expressed by Sofia Rose, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the school.