(TargetLiberty.org) – On Thursday, President Biden reflected on the controversial travel restrictions implemented by his predecessor, marking the eighth anniversary of the policy often referred to as the “Muslim ban,” a term coined during the 2016 election campaign. This policy, first proposed by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in December 2015, advocated for a complete cessation of Muslim entry into the United States until, as Trump stated, the country’s representatives could fully understand the underlying issues.
Biden, in a statement from his reelection campaign, expressed his dismay at the proposal, which he viewed as a divisive tactic aimed at instilling fear and mistrust towards Muslim Americans and Muslims globally, rather than a measure of national security. He criticized the ban for contradicting America’s longstanding tradition of embracing individuals of all faiths and those without religious affiliations, emphasizing that it breached the foundational principle of religious freedom in the U.S.
Reasserting the integral role of Muslim Americans within the nation, Biden condemned any actions that incite intolerance. He highlighted the importance of upholding values of diversity, dignity, and respect, especially in times of heightened fear and suspicion, and denounced all forms of Islamophobia, Antisemitism, and hatred.
Recalling the early days of Trump’s presidency in 2017, Biden noted Trump’s executive order that restricted visas for several predominantly Muslim countries. Biden himself revoked this ban on his first day in office, fulfilling a promise made during his 2020 campaign.
Trump, currently a leading figure in the GOP for the 2024 presidential nomination, has expressed intentions to reimpose and expand the travel ban should he win another term. Biden criticized this stance, stating that the original order not only caused unnecessary suffering and family separations but also damaged America’s international alliances and security. He admonished Trump’s renewed call for a travel ban as a disgraceful move.
Trump has maintained a defense of his travel ban policies and hinted at stricter immigration measures if reelected. He has promised to execute the largest domestic deportation operation in U.S. history and suggested using the 1798 Alien Enemies Act to expel suspected drug cartel members.
The travel ban, which underwent several revisions during Trump’s administration, eventually included five majority-Muslim countries — Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia — as well as North Korea and Venezuela, before being upheld by the Supreme Court in 2018.
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