A defense of Trump’s refugee order

By Daniel Brockman

Staff Writer

Only a week after inauguration, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that severely changed the refugee and immigration process in America. The order cut back the amount of refugees accepted into America from 100,000 to 50,000, and temporarily halted immigration from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, while completely stopping immigration from Syria. In similar fashion to his campaign, to say this order caused controversy is a huge understatement. Protesters rebelled against the order, and ultimately it was shot down by courts across the country. The order was reintroduced on March 6, but was again halted by courts.

What these refugee sympathizers don’t understand is how harmful refugees can be to communities and countries. Obviously not all refugees are bad people, but those who do have ill intentions are common among the refugees who are accepted.

In an interview with Yahoo on Feb. 9, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warns there are terrorists mixed in with the refugees.

“Those terrorists in Syria, holding the machine gun and killing people, are peaceful refugees in Europe,” Assad said in a video of the interview that was posted to YouTube.

To see how bad importing refugees can get, just look at Sweden. The country has accepted huge amounts of refugees from multiple Middle Eastern countries over the last few years, and the consequences have been terrible.

The Swedish government refuses to reveal accurate numbers of refugee crime rates, making it impossible to fully pinpoint what’s been happening. However, what statistics we can see show a grim reality.

According to a 2012 BBC News article, “The Swedish police recorded the highest number of offences – about 63 per 100,000 inhabitants – of any force in Europe, in 2010. The second-highest in the world.”

Swedish citizens should be furious about their total mistreatment, and maybe they are, but they can’t share it.  According to a report by Fria Tider, a Swedish-based news agency, a law passed in December 2014 that bans sharing criticism of Sweden’s immigration policy online. It’s no wonder why more citizens of Sweden don’t speak out against the horrid refugee crisis: they can’t.

Even with the limited number of refugees we’ve accepted into America, the results have been mediocre at best. According to the Office for Refugee Resettlement annual report to Congress in 2013, 91.4% of Middle-Eastern refugees use food stamps, while 73.1% use Medicaid. Putting refugees into a situation where they can’t sufficiently provide for themselves is not helpful, let alone compassionate.

To say the order was perfect would be a lie. Saudi Arabia is notorious for harboring terrorists, including those responsible for 9/11, yet Saudi Arabia was excluded from the travel ban.

In fact, decreasing the amount of accepted refugees to 50,000 is not doing enough.

What the order does right is giving government agencies time to form an improved refugee policy, while keeping our country safe. Taking in refugees who are ultimately incompatible with our country is not a good idea, let alone a solution. Trump’s order was flawed, but not a failure.


Trump’s presidency casts shadow on immigrant community

By Maria Pena-Cornejo

Staff Writer

This nation was built on the backs of millions of hardworking people who moved to this country with nothing but a dream and a hope for a better life for themselves and their families. People don’t leave their homeland because they want a change of scenery; they leave because they desperately yearn for the opportunity for a better life. The promise that the United States represents is enough to leave everything behind and search for opportunity.

My mother was just 15 years old when she made the journey to this country. Our family came to this country in search of the American dream. She is not a criminal. Her whole life she has worked hard to ensure that my sister and I have a better future.

In 2012, my mother applied for and received DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gives a way to work legally for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States before the age of 15 and were under the age of 30 in 2012.

DACA doesn’t provide a path to citizenship. Despite the fact that my mother has two daughters who are citizens and that she has been in this country for more than 15 years, she is not able to become a citizen. Although Trump has said he will not target DACA recipients, already several DACA young people have been detained around the country.

President Donald Trump has planned an aggressive crackdown on undocumented immigrants living in the United States; he claims that his main focus will be expelling  criminals. But despite his claims, dozens of stories have come to light about people who are not criminals being subjected to immigration raids. According to opg.org, in Woodburn, 11 undocumented immigrants were recently taken into the removal process by immigration agents.

“Criminal” is the umbrella term that Trump is using to justify the deportations. Undocumented immigrants are living in terror of the possibility of mass deportation. These people are not criminals.They are parents, siblings and children who work every day to make their lives better.

Whispers of raids are causing undocumented people to live in a constant state of terror.  Fear is sweeping through the millions of immigrants in the United States. They fear being deported and separated from their families. The spread of false information regarding raids on social media and the uncertainty is causing thousands to live in the shadows.

Parents are now having to look into the eyes of their children and explain to them that they might not come home. Trump is tearing families apart.

Trump is blatantly targeting immigrants and is perpetuating racist actions. This reality is being lived by thousands across the country, including students at Parkrose High School.

One Parkrose freshman (we are not using her name in order to protect her family) entered this country when she was 1 year old. Her parents brought her to the United States from Mexico without documentation. Her whole life she has been threatened by the possibility of deportation. With the election of Donald Trump, the reality of deportation became even more prominent.

“I have a fear that at any moment that everything I’ve learned and lived could be taken away,” this student said.

In order to work and support her family financially, she used a fake social security number like many undocumented workers in the U.S. do.

“We all have it, we are just surviving,” she said.

Being the only one of her siblings not born the United States, she fears being deported away from her younger siblings.

“My biggest fear is being separated from my family that was born here,” she said. “We have to stay together.”

Another Parkrose student, sophomore Rebecca Benitez, has undocumented family members. Her family came to the United States in the 80’s in search of better work and to get their families out of poverty.

Like many others, her family has made adjustments.

“My family has been less likely to visit Mexican restaurants and markets because of their fear,” Benitez said.

Even at home, she notices her family’s different attitude.

“There’s a lot of fear and tension at home,” she said.

Sophomore Alexis Budar is also the son of immigrants who risked everything to ensure that he and his younger brothers can live the American Dream. Due to Trump, his family has also had to change their lifestyle.

“My parents will not leave the house other than going to work and getting food. I’m the only one allowed to go out because I am ‘American,’” Budar said.   

“I fear that Trump could kill millions of dreams of immigrant families,” Budar said.

“America is and will always be the nation of immigrants. It is the land of the free, not the white,” Budar added.

Communities are stepping up to aid struggling immigrants. Cities such as Los Angeles are declaring themselved sanctuary cities, stating that they will not work with immigration agents. Protests supporting immigrants have broken out throughout the country.

On Jan. 23, the Parkrose Board of Safety and Resolution sent out an email to Parkrose staff regarding undocumented students and families. It stated that Parkrose will not assist any agency that would “intentionally disrupt the peaceful existence of our students and families or negatively impact our students’ learning in any way.”

Undocumented Mexicans are flooding to the 50 consulates for advice. President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto stated in a video message that he would make sure that Mexican citizens are taken care of.

Activists and lawyers are urging families to have a plan in case of deportation. Plans include making sure that their children who are U.S citizens have a legal guardian or dual citizenship in case of deportation.

Around me, I am witnessing families be overtaken with a sense of urgency to prepare for the worst. I am seeing children be terrified of losing their parents. I am frightened for the future of my family and the future of the immigrant community.

It is unacceptable that people who are the definition of the American Dream are being targeted.

Great again or stronger together?

Great again or stronger together?

By Henry Pastorino

Staff Writer

On Nov. 8, 2016, the 45th president will be elected, replacing current President Barack Obama. The 2016 presidential election has been unusual, to say the least. The current nominees include former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump, a “successful” business owner.
Clinton, the Democratic nominee with years of political experience, announced her campaign in 2015. As first lady, Clinton worked to support health and children’s rights. During her time as Secretary of State, she had her sets of email scandals, yet she continued to accomplish her goals.
Then there’s Trump, the Republican nominee with years of business experience. Some may say that he is successfully running his businesses, such as Trump Golf, a golfing resort. Or that he just likes branding things with his name on it, like Trump Hotel, Trump International Realty, Trump Winery and Trump Corporate.
The business world is vastly different from the political world. The regulations and goals are very different. If Trump ran the U.S. government like one of his business deals, it would leave our country at a loss.
“He’s a businessman, which may be good for America, but his company has been bankrupt. I think three times now,” senior Tieonna Jenkins said.                With no political experience, Trump believes that he can “make America great again.” No matter how much backlash he receives from social media and other candidates, Trump is stubborn enough to continue.
There’s a great difference between Clinton’s and Trump’s views on things. Clinton has a clear standpoint on the topic of immigration, and Trump has the most ignorant standpoint.
Trump’s views on immigration are what you call a “little old-fashioned.” Although he wants to promote legal immigration, Trump plans to build a physical “impenetrable” wall, and he wants Mexico to pay for it. Like that’s not arrogant enough, he also plans to brand his name on it.
“If he wants the wall built, he should pay for it, but I don’t think there should be a wall because even if there was a wall,  people would still find a way to come to America… they’re just going to find other ways to get here,”  Jenkins said.
Clinton’s immigration standpoints vastly differ from Trump’s. As it says on the Clinton’s official campaign website, she wants immigration policy to “stay true to our fundamental American values: that we are a nation of immigrants, and we treat those who come to our country with dignity and respect-and we embrace immigrants, not denigrate them.”
For new voters, the presidential election must be a daunting decision, and a lot of younger voters probably will not vote at all. It’s understandable. Neither Trump nor Clinton is a great choice. It’s like choosing between mayonnaise and mustard. Sure, one is better, but do you really want it?
But for some unknown reason, some people really do want Trump to be president. No matter how inconsistent his views on abortion, immigration, and education are, there are those who do see him in office.
People don’t realize that that inconsistency might be dealing with nuclear bombs, or the next world war. Trump is confusing, and he probably doesn’t even realize that he’s contradicting himself most of the time.
Spanish teacher Jeanette Zuniga-Lee wories about how Trump would represent the country.
“I think some people have a hard time trusting what he will do if elected. He’s a bit impulsive, so some fear that he may say something or do something that puts us in a very awkward position around the world.” Zuniga-Lee said.
A very, very awkward position. Recently, a conversation between Trump and Billy Bush was leaked to the public. Trump degrades women in the conversation, yet he claims that he has huge respect for them.
But Trump wasn’t the only candidate to have private information leaked. Around the same time, more of Clinton’s email scandals were leaked by WikiLeaks.
Both candidates have shown America that they can be unreliable and not trustworthy. Even during debates, the two are constantly poking at each other like children. However, it’s clear who is willing to run the country with dignity, and it’s clear who just craves the attention.