Donald Trump is no stranger to controversy as he is traveling the country in the hope of becoming the GOP presidential candidate for 2016. No matter what type of rhetoric that Trump has been campaigning on, his poll numbers remain strong. In the latest Trump controversy, Donald Trump has stated that the United States needs to ban all Muslims from coming into the United States. Politicians and people from both sides of the political spectrum are stating that this is the worst thing that Trump has said during the entirety of his campaign. People are going as far as to comparing Donald Trump to Hitler across the social media platforms. The interesting thing is that people are acting like this idea by Trump is a new idea. It is not. Precedents have been set five times in the history of the United States in which they have done the thing that Trump is saying needs to be done.
The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 were signed into law by John Adams. The Alien and Sedition Acts made it so that aliens who wanted to become citizens needed to state their intentions before citizenship would be granted. The earliest that these aliens would have been granted citizenship would have been five years after they applied for it. The acts also gave President Adams the power to deport or imprison aliens who were deemed to be “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.”
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur. This act was the first time in United States history that a specific ethnic group was barred from immigration into the United States. The act made it so that Chinese laborers would not be allowed to come into the United States. The Chinese Exclusion Act was not repealed until 1943.
The Immigration Act of 1917 was initially vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson but overturned by Congress. The Immigration Act added on to the Chinese Exclusion Act by barring other ethnic groups from immigration into the United States. The ethnic groups were people from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and India. The Immigration Act of 1917 was essentially repealed in 1952 by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.
The Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526, and 2527 were instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The proclamations allowed the United States to arrest, detain, or remove from the United States those people who were of German, Japanese, and Italian decent. The proclamations were enforced under the authority of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and the modified Alien Enemies Act of 1918. Under the authority of the Alien Enemies Act, the president of the United States could issue an edict stating that aliens of a “hostile nation” could be arrested, detained, or removed from the United States. Donald Trump has cited these specific proclamations while speaking about his view for stopping the immigration of Muslims into the United States.
In 1980, the world was glued to the events circling the hostage crisis in Iran. President Jimmy Carter attempted many measures to bring an end to the United States crisis. One of the measures that Carter enacted was to ban all Iranians from entering the United States. The only loophole to this was that any Iranian who wanted to enter the United States would have to be opposed to Shiite Regime or had a medical emergency.
At least five times in history, the United States put measures in place to stop immigration for a group of people from coming to this country. The measures were put in place as a way to protect the homeland during times of conflict or war. I don’t think anyone can argue that we are not in conflict or at war. During the oath that is taken by the President of the United States, the president swears to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. The first priority of the President of the United States is to the security and safety of the United States. In order to ensure this, some tough decisions need to be made. These decisions are not going to please everyone, but our national security and foreign policy should not be based on making sure everyone is happy.
Could Donald Trump word things a bit differently? Of course. Does his main point about stopping the immigration of Muslims into the United States have precedent? Absolutely.
What are your thoughts on Donald Trump and his immigration idea of stopping Muslims from entering the United States?
[Image Via AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall]