US Opinion: “As an American, I will Fight for Their Rights”

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PHOTO: Protesters at JFK Airport in New York seek release of detainees held under Trump exective order


On Saturday night, thousands of people gathered at US airports to protest the detention of travellers — they are being held because of Donald Trump’s suspension of visas for citizens of seven mainly-Muslim countries. Lawyers worked on the floor of terminals trying to obtain the release of the detainees.

A federal judge granted an emergency stay Saturday night for those who have already arrived in the US and those who are in transit, ruling they cannot be removed from the US. However, this does not guarantee the freeing of those who are detained, either at the airports or at anohter detention center.

Randy Cravens writes for EA:


The torch of liberty, whose bright and shining flame guides the way towards freedom and safety, and has welcomed those from around the world to join our American family will not be extinguished.

We are a land vast in size, immense in generosity, and sincere in our desire to see dreams come true, families be reunited, and love for one another guide our brothers and sisters to our highest potential, both as individuals, and as a community.

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We are not perfect as a nation. We let religious and ethnic suspicion and mistrust turn our heads, and steal our attention too easily. We let the lies and half-truths that are the mental fast food of our day supplant the healthful knowledge of hard-studied facts and truths. We prefer shouting each other down from the anonymity of a keyboard, rather than having a civil discussion with our neighbors at our fence or on our front porch. We have unresolved racial conflicts that have persisted throughout the decades. We have empowered corporations with the same or higher rights than individual citizens. And, in so many of our communities, our families are under siege, and being torn apart by the immediate and long-term impacts of a massive drug problem.

Still, with all of our well-known faults, we remain a beacon of hope for so many people the world over. Our churches, mosques and synagogues are open. Those with no religion have the same absolute and inalienable rights as those that occupy those houses of worship. We can congregate, we can proselytize, we can dream, we can protest, we can report, we can travel, we can observe and we can decide our own opinions based on those observations. If we fail, we can start over. If we struggle, we can seek and find help. If we dream, we can achieve.

I do not fear immigrants. With no immigration, I would have likely experienced a very different mortal experience in this world. Instead, I am thankful for a nation that has welcomed immigrants. I welcome the contributions that they make to the fabric of our nation, and the absolute benefit that they make to the quality of our lives, through the jobs that they create, the care and innovation that they possess, and the culture that they bring to us from all over the world.

I salute those refugees who served our Armed Forces, and who are now attempting to start a new life here. I salute those who have spent months and years in camps just hoping and praying for the opportunity to be free. I support those legal permanent residents who have been here for months and years, who have left the United States and are returning back after a short visit, only to be denied entry to their home, based on the place of their birth rather than the content of their character.

I will fight for the rights of those that strive to join our American family. I am not a lawyer, and I am not a member of government. But I am a citizen. And I will use my rights as a citizen to advocate for those who strive to live our American dream, while always striving for the protection of the safety and security of our nation.

My fight will start with advocacy to my elected representatives. If my elected representatives choose fear, lies, and hate, I will become a candidate to take their place in government, and shine the light of truth and humanity into darkness. And I will support those other citizens who choose to do so.

I hope that you will join me. I hope that together we can fight for a nation that is tolerant, respectful, kind, loving, and willing to face the world, not only as a military and economic power, but, far more importantly, as a moral champion for the people of the world.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Fight for the rights of terrorists and criminals coming from Syria and Iraq? No one has a “right” to enter another country. You are allowed in by the permission of the government once it is known that you are not a threat and plan to leave once your business is over.

    • I do not see that the author claimed that there should not be proper vetting of immigrants, as has been standard practice in the United States for many years. Such vetting, including any “enhanced” vetting as proposed by the Trump administration, would certainly be able to capture data as to whether a claimant of asylum was in fact a “terrorist or criminal” before such a person were admitted to the United States.

      While present in the United States, immigrants are granted rights by the United States Constitution, including the right to due process, as provided by the Fifth Amendment. A fully sourced academic study of this topic can be found at http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1302&context=facpub and will provide you with further information as to the breadth and scope of those rights, as well as their limitations.

      Further information about basic human rights, as recognized by the United Nations, is available at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Pages/WhatareHumanRights.aspx.

      • Enhanced vetting would be preferable, but the lack of documentation and information about the citizens of certain places makes a country-wide ban necessary.

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