United States (MNN) – President Trump’s travel ban has volleyed back and forth since January 2017, receiving support as well as resistance.
The ban, which has been revised several times, has been blocked by federal courts across the nation but has also been given partial and full enforcement by the Supreme Court.
Now, the ban has made its way up to the Supreme Court again to determine if it is in violation of the Constitution or immigration law.
The most current revision of the ban originally restricted travel on certain categories of people from eight countries, most of which are Muslim nations – Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela, and North Korea. However, Chad has recently been removed from the ban.
On April 25, the arguments were heard by the Supreme Court Justices, and a decision is expected to be heard by June. Their ruling could make the ban permanent and could cut off help to many refugees seeking sanctuary.
Looking at the arguments and responses during the hearing, a report by The Hill stated it expects the Supreme Court will pass the ban.
“We’re disappointed,” Bethany Christian Service’s Chris Palusky says.
“We want to remind the Supreme Court Justices that it’s important for people to be able to come to the U.S. and resettle in the United States because this affects refugees, and we’re a country of refugees and immigrants. So, we’re disappointed that this looks like it’s going forward and we’d like to remind those in power it’s important that we allow people to come into our country, especially those that are fleeing violence, and they’re afraid for their security.”
Each of the countries listed on the ban sees persecution, violence, and conflicts that have caused people to flee their homes.
A Muslim Ban?
Many opposing the ban have accused President Trump of proposing a “Muslim ban” and therefore constituting it as religious discrimination and unlawful.
“The majority of these countries that are being banned from coming into the United States have a large Muslim population, and I think, especially as we’re looking at this travel ban, it kind of smells like it, it feels like it, and if we could taste it, it would taste like it – a Muslim ban,” Palusky says.
During the hearing, however, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. stated that five of the banned countries are Muslim and there are around 50 majority Muslim nations. This ban would be affecting about eight percent of the world’s Muslim population.
Still, Palusky suggests caution in going forward by remaining unbiased to these nations’ religion and other factors.
“When we’re looking at a ban or even people coming into our country, we really have to think beyond nationality, ethnicity, or religion when we come to this concept of loving thy neighbor, which we think is key, especially for a country like the United States.”
The Ban Affecting Children
Bethany works with vulnerable populations, especially unaccompanied refugee minors who have been affected by conflicts such as the war in Syria or crisis in Yemen.
The ban, Palusky says, is affecting and could continue to affect those children who are coming into the United States and trying to find a home.
“We definitely want to make sure that national security is taken into account. That seems to be one of the concerns of this administration and the country, but we are also in support of making sure that we don’t have terrorists or people who have ill-willed towards our country, coming into the country,” he says.
“But these refugees that we’re resettling, those aren’t those people. They’ve been through a 22-step vetting process. We’ve seen how extreme vetting procedures with U.S. Government [goes] above and beyond. So, we feel that national security is key, but it’s also important for these people to be able to come and be able to have a loving home.”
Bethany is giving refugee children just that – a loving home – by finding them a good foster family, enrolling them in school, and ensuring that they have health services and security.
However, Palusky says refugee families should also be able to reunite.
“We want to make sure that every child has a safe and loving family, but we also want to make sure those kids that are separated from their families are able to be reunited with them,” Palusky says.
“So, our concern is that with this travel ban, families are split, they’re all over the place. We want to have the ability when parents are found or where there’s reunification possible, that the children and families can be reunited. With this travel ban, we see that that is a big roadblock or impediment to letting that happen.”
You can get involved with Bethany by befriending a refugee who needs hope and encouragement, becoming a foster family, speaking out for refugees, or donating. Learn more at their website.
There are more refugees globally now than ever before. Over 22 million refugees are seeking a safe place.
Palusky encourages you to pray for the chaos and brokenness in the world. Pray the Lord would bring incredible healing. Pray also for wisdom and understanding for the leaders of this world and for the Supreme Court Justices as they come to a decision.