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Vincent Huston
Vincent Huston is a student in Human Environment at Concordia University.

Donald Trump’s Impact on the Migrant Crisis

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After Donald Trump’s somewhat surprising victory in the 2016 presidential election, there was a lot of anxiety in regards to the potential impact his presidency would have. With a large portion of the senate controlled by republicans along with many controversial political figures representing it, the world wondered if the president-elect’s most divisive campaign promises would really be implemented.

On the 25th of January, Donald Trump signed the immigration executive order for the construction of a wall separating Mexico from the United States. In addition, 10 000 additional immigration officers would be hired and sanctions could be implemented on sanctuary cities unwilling to take a harsher stance on illegal immigration.

In the following days, the executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” was signed by the president. This order means that all non-Americans from seven identified countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen and Syria) would not be allowed to enter the country. The US administration believes that this order will help prevent the entry of radical Islamic terrorists. Its conception drew upon the “visa waiver program” requirements for people that visited these countries. It would have forced them to have a visa in order to enter the country.

Donald Trump’s recent ban on several countries has led to the detaining of hundreds of people in American airports. Many non-Americans hoping to come back to the United-States for school or work are stranded abroad as their visas aren’t valid for a period of 90 to 120 days.

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In terms of international politics, these policies may pose big problems for European countries dealing with the current migrant crisis on their borders, constituting the biggest mass movement of people since World War Two.The so called Muslim ban will have an impact on the countries comprising the European Union, since the United States originally accepted to take 100 000 Syrian refugees.

The divisive implications that Trump’s policies brings forward are not in line with the burden sharing notion which is agreed upon through Non-governmental organizations and through the signing of treaties between all countries but especially its allies. By reducing the number of migrants that the US is willing to take in, enormous pressure will be put on European countries which are already scrambling to provide migrants with adequate living standards.

The migrant crisis started in 2015 as the percentage of migrants rose by 86% compared to the previous year. Nowadays, many people are still trying to flee from war stricken zones such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq which are still being ravaged by terrorist groups such as ISIS. Many other migrants come from Balkan countries such as Albania and Serbia in order to flee ethnic persecution. The former issue can also be attributed to migrants coming from African nations such as Eritrea and Congo. Many of them also flee the continent due to civil war, extremist groups (Boko Horam) and socio-economic constraints.

The vast amount of countries involved with the current crisis will prove to be a great test for Europe. With that being said, it must protect its borders in order to ensure the safety of its population from extremist groups and radicalized individuals. It must also do this in order to minimize socio-economic constraints. On the other hand, all EU countries must come together and show solidarity towards the many migrants coming from various regions. It is important for them to do this in order to promote democracy and the advantages it can bring to their lives. With that being said, the Trump administration clearly undermines the strategic implications of consensus building with the EU. It is especially strange since it is a relatively similar socio-economic reality that binds them together and which they agree on.

With the previous mentioned factors, it is clear that the key to solving the migrant crisis is for EU countries to provide incoming migrants with the best possible care in order to uphold the benefits that are found in a democratic society. Having said that, it is also important to maintain a presence in war torn regions in order to create a peaceful environment that will not lead to the rise of autocracy and extremist groups which we have seen time and time again. The United-States must then play its part by alleviating the pressure that is being put on European countries, especially if it wants to promote the benefits of democracy and the socio-economic conditions that bind them together.

The Prince Arthur Herald

Photo Credit: Twitter, @mcspocky

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