A protester holds up a sign that reads, "people aren't illegal; your policies are."

Photo courtesy of Stephen Melkisethian at Flickr Creative Commons.

“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.”

– Emma Lazarus

That poem is inscribed on the plaque beneath the Statue of Liberty. It’s a testament to what America stands for. I posted the poem because somewhere along the line, we seem to have forgotten who we are as Americans. Instead of providing refuge for the tired, the poor, and the homeless, we are turning a blind eye to their plights. And that’s not right.

I’m talking about President Trump’s immigration ban. While the president would love to have us all believe that the ban is for our own “safety,” I argue that safety has nothing to do with it. Consider this: your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are about 1 in 20 million. In fact, you’re more likely to die in a car crash, drown in a bathtub, or in a building fire than from a terrorist attack.

Don’t get me wrong, terrorist attacks do happen. But let’s not pretend that it’s always at the hands of Middle Easterners. Just this past month, a 27-year-old white nationalist opened fire at a mosque in Quebec. He killed six innocent Muslims. But you don’t see President Trump deeming it an act of “white terrorism.”

On June 17, 2015, 21-year-old Dylann Roof opened fire at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. He killed nine people. Roof even admitted that he is a white supremacist. But again, you don’t see Trump calling for an end to “white terrorism.”

But the biggest reason that the immigration ban is wrong is because it’s flat-out illegal. According to the New York Times, Congress outlawed discrimination based on immigrants’ national origin about fifty years ago. And although Trump has since denied that it’s a Muslim ban, who could forget this quote that was published on his website back in December 2015:

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.”

It’s very clear that this is a Muslim ban. As such, it is discriminatory, racist, and completely unethical.