By Steven Stetson
Are Americans safe from the rising threat of terrorism? That’s just one of many questions President Trump has strived to solve in the past few weeks. Trump’s answer pertaining to that of the American’s safety was a travel ban. After Trump’s previous travel ban, he revised and mandated a new one. This time around, he has changed the requirements. On top of that, he removed Iraq from the ban, as well as making known his plan ten days in advance before taking effect. Trump has made it known that the ban is in the interest of Americans. Safety is his top priority, but the way in which he went about it last time, seemed to target Muslims specifically. He, as well as the Trump administration, has high hopes for this new one.
A question that needed to be addressed was whether or not Iraq would remain on the ban list. The reason it was an issue at all, was because people saw Iraq as a key ally in the fight against ISIS. Fear of losing them as a result of the ban was the concern. In wake of Trump’s decision, he spoke to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi. Between the two, they discussed key issues in regards to vetting. According to CNN, “Trump also faced pressure to remove Iraq from the order from some American national security officials, who argued the restriction burdened a key anti-ISIS partner” (Diamond). ISIS has been an issue Trump promised to handle once in office. After heavy consideration, his meeting with the Prime Minister led Trump to his ultimate decision to leave Iraq off the ban.
Previously, Trump referenced a “Muslim ban” during his campaign speeches. The media however, was quick to pounce on the name of Trump’s original ban, having claimed it was unconstitutional. As a result, the ban was put on hold, which prompted Trump to make a new one. This time however, Trump addressed the religious aspect directly, making known that it had nothing to do with race or religion. In Rolling Stone, Trump’s advisor, Stephen Miller stated, “There is no religious exclusion, test or establishment of any kind, shape or form whatsoever” (Diamond). This was of great concern from the get go, but after announcing the ban’s new intentions, it clarified concerns.
The ban in general is still highly controversial. Many Democrats continue to stand by their claim of it being unconstitutional, while others buy into it being for the safety of Americans. Wherever one stands, it remains to be seen whether or not the reinstated ban will have a better outcome than last time. As of now, Trump will continue to abide by his belief that America will benefit by such a ban.
By Steven Stetson
Many argue that Trump says controversial things constantly, and really, who can blame them? A fair amount of the things he’s said have definitely warranted him his reputation. However, there’s one issue that’s remained fairly constant, and that’s his view on abortion. Over the years, Trump’s made known his stance on abortion, which as of right now, amounts to being pro-life.
According to The Washington Post, a survey poll found that 66% of Americans oppose tax funding of abortion laws, opposed to the 34% that identify as pro-choice, and in support of said laws. Given these percentages, it’s clear that America as a whole is primarily pro-life, giving Trump one favorable trait amongst the majority.
Introduced in 1984 by Ronald Reagan, came the Global Gag Rule, also known as the “Mexico City Policy”, which banned government services, and funding for those who sought abortion outside the U.S. While a foreign policy it was, many Americans were opposed to it, believing that women’s rights should be valued outside the country as well. However, in 2009 Obama reversed the rule, until this year, when Trump reversed it immediately following the Women’s March on Washington D.C, for the “Power to Choose.”
The true definition of abortion (according to Dictionary.com, that is) reads, “The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.” The real issue is determining when it’s officially classified as human. Let’s get technical. Take the word pregnancy. According to Dictionary.com, pregnancy is, “the state of being pregnant.” What’s pregnant mean? Once more, Dictionary.com reads, “having a child or young developing in the uterus.” Most would consider “child or young” to be human. It’s evident that Trump takes to heart this view, in regards to believing an abortion is murder (“termination”). Why else would he oppose it, and suggest means of punishment?
On an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC, Matthews asked Trump whether or not there should be some sort of punishment for those who choose to abort, and Trump answered, “There has to be some form of punishment.” Trump continued on explaining his choice of pro-life, whilst making his stance clear. Abortion is a problem, and was on Trumps radar for sometime, that’s why he’s made the decision to act, and stand up for what he as President believes.
While it’s true that President Trump, as well as a large significant of the population are anti-abortion, it remains a topic of discussion. Sure, Trump is pro-life, but regardless of what you or I may believe, there will always be a variety of opinions differing from our own. Trump’s view on abortion is what’s at hand however, and must be seen as such, for he is our model as President. Make no mistake - opinions are to be shared and debated, as that is our right. But for the purpose of this article, it’s that of Trump’s (opinion) that we must focus on, and analyze.
By Abbey Soltis & Molly Swartz
For the past three years, the citizens of Flint, Michigan have been experiencing the side effects of lead-contaminated water. Residents are getting sick, children have high amounts of lead in their bloodstream, and people are being forced to buy excessive amounts of bottled water for everyday necessities such as showering, cooking, and cleaning.
In April of 2014, Flint authorities switched their main water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. As a result of the more corrosive river water, lead pipes have been leaking and contaminating the water used by the town. According to the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the river water has always been of poor quality, especially after the 1970’s, due to the “presence of fecal coliform bacteria, low dissolved oxygen, plant nutrients, oils, and toxic substances” (Flint River Assessment, July 2001). The presence of lead in the water has lead to stunts in child cognitive development; many studies in the past several years have indicated defects in the growth of the young children of Flint in speaking or writing compared to other children their age. Some neurological disorders, such as ADHD, have affected the education systems in Flint, and have ultimately cost the city a great amount of money. The city of Flint is already bankrupt, but it is now necessary to provide funding for the children who have been affected by lead poisoning to receive the proper necessities to earn an education and obtain a job.
Reading the facts of this case, one might be shocked at how Flint officials and the EPA were able to get away with the contamination of the city’s water for as long as they did. However, by researching more deeply, one can see the possible enabler of such an ignored catastrophe- Flint’s distinct demographic status. According to the US Census Bureau, 41.2% of Flint residents live below the poverty line. This shocking statistic reflects on the officials in charge of the water quality in towns such as Flint. Dr. Shepard, a science teacher at Glenelg High School, believes that the crisis “highlights the failure of our infrastructure in the United States.” During an interview, she elaborated on the idea that poor people in the United States rarely get counted in public decisions. She also commented on how the contamination would not have gone on for nearly as long if the citizens were wealthy, because wealthy people would have had more political-say, and the EPA would have been forced to discontinue the use of the Flint River as the source for the city’s water.
An anonymous teacher at Glenelg High School stated their belief that the crisis occurred because of the demographics of the city. This teacher, in concurrence with Dr. Sheppard, believes that the poorer people of Flint were taken advantage of because of a multitude of factors, including lack of education and ability to stand up in front of a court for their rights.
The inexcusable actions committed by the officials in charge of Flint pose questions for all citizens of America. What if other water is contaminated? What if one’s friends and family are being harmed, and will suffer irreversible cognitive deficits due to the government’s unwillingness to spend money? Did the Flint Water Crisis occur for political reasons? Or a financial issue? Due to Flint’s water crisis, there is a debate as to whether or not the rest of the country can trust the EPA with drinking water. It is important that citizens question everything. Residents of Flint were falsely assured about the quality of their water, and ultimately suffered because of the EPA and the Federal Government. Flint, Michigan is the quintessential example of neglect of poor individuals in the US. This should be the last time people in the United States are ignored because of their socioeconomic status.
By Garrett Athey
President Trump issued a new immigration policy on January 27th that suspended refugee resettlement and early entry into the United States from several countries in the Middle East. The suspended countries included in the ban are Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, and Syria. The action was taken by Trump to protect the U.S. from potential terrorists entering the country while his team create stricter background checks. Anyone with a visa or green card holder from those specific countries is prevented from coming into the U.S.
Although many people are against this new policy, Trump has the power to take this action as the President. According to the law, the President can issue an immigration ban on foreigners as long as he or she believes there is a threat to national security. However, Trump’s policy will most likely be sent to the Supreme Court to make sure the action was within the authority of the Executive Branch. If the Supreme Court rules that the ban was not within the President’s power it will be repealed immediately.
The policy has caused controversy because some people question Trump’s real purpose for instituting this policy. Some feel as though the action was taken on the basis of discrimination towards people from the Middle East. Junior Natalie Proviano feels the policy is a good idea because “The countries included in the ban are dangerous and have been under surveillance for awhile, Trump’s policy will prevent these countries from threatening the national security and protect Americans as well.” People feel safer as a result of the ban because they feel the government is doing more to protect the country from acts of terrorism. However, others disagree with the new policy because of the intentions it holds to ban certain people from entering the United States. Junior Zach Rizk feels the policy is a hurtful act taken by Trump, “It was rushed and it limits refugees that need help from entering the United States. Trump doesn’t realize that it is hurting the countries that the ban is placed on.” Those who oppose the policy do not like how Trump is preventing groups of people from coming into the U.S. because of the region that they come from.
The policy will continue to be in effect unless the Supreme Court rules against it or if Trump himself feels that it is no longer needed. This is just the beginning of Trump’s plans as President in order to make Americans safer from foreigners. This order could even mess up relationships with other countries that feel that it is discriminatory towards specific groups of people. Only time will tell how far Trump will go with his policies in order to get what he wants done in the government.