Trump wants to ‘screen’ immigrants based on their religion. That’s a really bad idea

Sorry, Donald, but the purpose of the immigration process isn't to homogenize thought in America.

Since Donald Trump failed to complete his wall, he’s looking for other ways to limit immigration to the US.

In a recent speech, Trump called for a “strong ideological screening” of immigrants entering the country, which includes barring entry to immigrants for holding certain political and religious views.

“If you hate America, if you want to abolish Israel, if you don’t like our religion, if you sympathize with Jihadists, then we don’t want you in our country and you are not getting in,” Trump said. 

While many, like Trump, believe that an open immigration system harms Americans, history has shown us otherwise. Many of the greatest minds in history, such as Isaac Asimov, Andrew Carnegie, and Nikola Tesla, came to America through the immigration system. None of them were devout Christians or conservatives.

If the country had implemented Trump’s plan, they may not have been able to immigrate here, and we might have been robbed of their contributions to society.

To clarify, this is not a call for open borders. We need an immigration system with specified checkpoints to protect the country from threats. For example, we don’t want spies, terrorists, convicted murderers, people carrying deadly diseases, etc., who explicitly threaten the country’s safety to enter freely.

However, the purpose of the immigration process isn’t to homogenize thought in America. We, as Americans, benefit from allowing people of all backgrounds to enter the country so we can learn from different cultures and perspectives that emerge through unique circumstances.

Our country is only as prosperous as it is now because we opened our arms to many different people.

As George Washington said, “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations And Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.”

Our country has always been a melting pot of ideas, religions, and political views. It’s a shame that Donald Trump can’t see that this has always been a big part of what truly “makes America great.”

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Kiyah Willis
Kiyah Willis
Kiyah Willis is a fellow at BASEDPolitics.