Trump Shuts Out Muslims & Mexicans
Critics are raising alarms regarding President Trump’s recent treatment of America’s Middle Eastern and as well as the country’s southern neighbor, Mexico. Despite protests around the United States, Federal courts have so far blocked only a small portion of executive orders issued Friday suspending visa and refugee privileges for countries deemed to be at a higher risk for terrorism. This has left tens of thousands stranded while waiting for travel permissions to be granted again.
ACLU Scores Limited Victory Against Trump Executive Order
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit in a New York District Court for a group of refugees detained at New York’s JFK airport. The court decided that those who had already landed on American soil could not be sent back to their countries of origin. However, the ruling did not address if the U.S. could detain the refugees and permanent residents in domestic facilities. Most importantly, the ruling has no effect on those who were not already in transit.
Anyone who is a native of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen who is not in America now faces at least a 90 day wait before receiving a visa to the United States. Refugees face a 120 day minimum review process before entering the country. Furthermore, the order singled out refugees from Syria for additional scrutiny, suspending immigration privileges indefinitely.
American Businesses Attack Middle Eastern Immigration Ban
Middle Eastern ally Iraq voiced concern about the ban. Several American businesses are also scrambling to reduce the impact on employees who are affected by the new order. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, all denounced the policy change saying that it hurt too many innocent Muslim people while not protecting the country against real terrorist threats.
According to Musk, “Many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the U.S. They’ve done right, not wrong and don’t deserve to be rejected.”
Trump Rebuts Muslim Discrimination Fears
In answer, the Trump administration admitted that the sudden implementation of the policy hurt some blameless legal residents. However, the administration acted rapidly to deter terrorists from switching tactics. Trump supporters also noted that many of the detained people faced approval on a case by case basis. President Trump reiterated that while the ban target some Muslim majority countries, it was not a “Muslim ban” as such. The Obama administration originally named the seven selected countries, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015.
Mexico Also Upset With Trump Policies
The President also answered questions about the relationship between the United States and Mexico on Thursday. President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled a scheduled meeting in response to President Trump’s renewed call for a border wall paid for by the Mexican government.
Peña Nieto stated “I regret and condemn the United States’ decision to continue with the construction of a wall that, for years now, far from uniting us, divides us.”
Later on Thursday, Trump stated that Mexican tariffs could finance the wall. This created a controversy, as detractors said that this meant the American public would now be paying for the wall. Conservatives welcomed the potential tariff, noting that it encouraged consumption of American goods. The current tax structure on American products artificially inflates prices.
How Does President Trump’s Immigration Policy Affect Trading?
Trade between America and the seven Muslim countries remains low. Still, the executive order sets the stage for a potentially contentious relationship between the Trump administration and the more militant countries of the Middle East. Iraq is an ally and has been helpful in providing intelligence to the American intelligence community regarding potential terrorist threats. This assistance may cease, ironically leaving the country less protected. Moreover, Iran’s relationship with the United States faces a roadblock. This is especially true given that President Trump’s opposition to the removal of sanctions against the Iranian nuclear power program. This may increase costs for major businesses such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter with a strong presence in the region. Look for the DOW to drop as companies figure out the economic impact of the ban.
Mexico is America’s largest trading partner. The border wall will definitely have a major impact on the prices for goods coming into the United States. If these products cannot be provided by domestic producers, this could lead to a fall for the dollar short term. On the other hand, if businesses need to hire more American workers to replace those Mexicans who are unable to cross under a more strictly supervised border control program, this could eventually lead to lower unemployment and increased spending, with a higher dollar in the long run.