In his first week in office, President Trump signed an executive order which barred travel from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East.
Immediately after Trump’s temporary 90-day travel ban was put into place, protestors rallied together at airports across the nation. Protesters were holding signs that read “Refugees are welcome here” and “I guess we are doing this every week now.”
What is troubling is that during Obama’s presidency, there were never nationwide protests opposing his immigration policies. In 2011, when Obama halted the immigration of all Iraqi immigrants for six months, there were no protests against his actions. But when Trump enacted his travel ban, thousands across the nation rallied against him.
The goal of this article is not to defend Trump’s executive action. What I am trying to do is put into question whether or not the motives of the people protesting are to protect immigrant rights or to defy Trump.
In September 2015, Obama announced that the United States will take in 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016. But when the administration had only accepted about 1,700 refugees by the end of April, there was no public opposition.
By the end of his presidency, it was calculated that Obama has deported about 2.5 million immigrants without proper legal status or documentation from the U.S., more than any of his predecessors. Where was the march on Washington protesting his immigration policy?
Just this past week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted raids across the nation with the intent of deporting illegal immigrants without proper legal status or documentation.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the DHS said that these raids are not a result of Trump’s presidency and that these same exact raids occurred during Obama’s presidency. However, that did not stop protesters from organizing in New York City all the way to Los Angeles to challenge the policy that existed during Obama’s presidency.
For the American people to protest only against Trump’s immigration policies and remain idle as Obama did nearly the same exact thing for eight years is as hypocritical as it gets.
Why did the majority of the American people sit and watch as the Obama administration raided the homes of families with illegal immigrants without proper legal status or documentation.? Why did those who protested in New York and Los Angeles only now oppose a policy that has been in place for years?
Long after Trump leaves office, there will be presidents whose immigration policies could be even more unpopular than Trump’s, and if those policies are not met with the same level of opposition as Trump received, then there is a great problem in this nation.