You can’t have it both ways: freedom of religion or not?

NEW ORLEANS (March 10, 2017) – The United States of America has prided itself on being the “land of the brave and home of the free,” but that changed when the 45th president of the United States signed an executive order Jan. 28 which indefinitely barred immigrant visitors from seven Muslims-majority countries from entering the country, affecting university students in New Orleans and around the nation.

The lack of planning and failure to announce the order beforehand left people in the air on the way to America, stuck in airports here and abroad. Some heart-breaking stories included a sick baby being treated in America whose parents were on their way; a sick, elderly mother who was banned from getting on a plane to live with her family; and a doctoral student afraid to leave to visit his family.

A federal judge suspended Donald Trump’s executive order and he responded as usual, with personal invective against the judge and no substance. As the Courtbouillon went to press, the Trump administration was planning to adjust the order just enough to overcome the judge’s objections to targeting religion, a First Amendment no-no.

More than 17,000 students are enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities are coming from the seven countries listed in the ban: Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. New Orleans universities and colleges estimated around 50 students and staff members could be affected by the ban.

Dillard University has few foreign students and none from the banned countries. Only 14 students, or less than 2 percent, are from abroad. The countries represented include the Bahamas, Great Britain, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago.

However, at Tulane University, Chief of Staff Tania Tetlow was quoted as saying, “Tulane, like most universities, is profoundly concerned about the impact of the order on higher education generally. Universities are about bringing together the best and brightest minds from around the world.”

James Robart, a federal judge in Seattle, suspended Trump’s executive order Feb. 3. Trump attacked the judge on Twitter on Feb. 4 claiming “many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country” because of the “terrible” decision.

Trump also tweeted, “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned.”

What protesters are finding ridiculous is that Trump assumes that any person from Muslim descent is a potential terrorist. According to a review by the CATO Institute, the chances of an American dying in a terrorist attack committed by a foreigner in the United States stands at about 1 in 3.6 million.

While terrorism is a gigantic world issue, the answer is not banning only a certain group from entering the country because of their religion. That is discrimination and abridges the U.S. Constitution, the very basis of American law.  The country was created by immigrants, some who wanted to come here and those of us who were forced to come here through slavery. We all built this country. What would Trump’s life be if the nation said NO German could immigrate because they all might be Nazis?

Treating every Muslim who seeks entry into this land of opportunity as if he or she is a terrorist is wrong on so many levels.

We, the Courtbouillon staff, agree that national security does not justify this administration’s viewpoint and actions. The country needs to continue its growth into being what it aspires to be “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Don’t stand for the racism and isolationism that the current administration espouses.

(Editor-in-Chief Jamia Collins wrote the editorial on behalf of the Courtbouillon staff.)