“If you’re going to call The United States a melting pot of different religions and cultures then you can’t just block one group of people or one religion, and that’s basically what Trump’s doing with the 90-day ban,” said Yasmeene Younis, the president of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at Lorain County Community College.
For Younis, a nursing and business management major, the executive order is personal, since her father’s side of the family lives in Jordan.
“My family came to the U.S. to create a better life for their children because it’s not safe over there and now it’s not safe here,” said Younis. Even though Jordan was not among the countries included in the 90-day ban, Younis fears that it may soon be added to the list.
“I have a friend that’s going to Jordan this summer, and I wonder if she’ll be able to get back. What if something changes?” said Younis.
According to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, green-card holders will be allowed onto American soil regardless of where they hold citizenship, unless significant information proves they pose a “serious threat to public safety and welfare.”
Even with Kelly’s assurance, Younis remains doubtful and uneasy about the future of Trump’s foreign policy.
“If in 11 days he can block Muslims, God knows what other cultures or religions he can deport in the next 4 years,” said Younis.
Concerned about Trump’s motives, Younis questioned why the ban does not include citizens from the countries at fault for the Sept. 11 attacks, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
“The people who we assume are responsible for 9/11 aren’t on that list,” said Younis, “I don’t understand why he’s banned some countries, but not the rest.”
Younis also worries that her own citizenship may one day be in jeopardy, and the thought of leaving the U.S. adds to her unease.
“My whole life is here in Ohio where I was born and raised. If I had to leave I would be giving up my mom’s side of the family, my career, and my freedom,” said Younis.
Her anxiety not only stems from Trump’s executive order, but the effect it’s had on some of his supporters. “I was terrified while walking around campus the day after Trump was elected, especially when I heard that Muslim women were getting their scarves ripped off their heads at San Jose University,” said Younis.
Even though Younis feels supported on campus, the fear of retaliation impedes her from freely voicing her opinion and is uncertain about her constitutional rights. “I don’t know how I feel about my freedom of speech, or freedom of assembly, any of those freedoms,” said Younis, “I feel like I don’t have them anymore.”
Another student at LCCC, who wishes to remain anonymous due to legal concerns, harbors the same anguish as Younis.
“When I came here in 2015, I was looking for peace and love,” she said, “I am working hard to build my future here and bring my family to the U.S., but now I’m scared I won’t be able to.”
In an effort to see her family again, she began applying for travel documents that will legally allow them to visit her in the U.S.
Still, the news of the ban was so upsetting that she has been unable to study for her classes. During her time of need, she leaned on the community at LCCC for support.
“They tell me not worry and that they will support me,” she said.
Despite being uncertain of when or if the ban will lift she remains positive about the U.S. government and the American people.
“I have faith in people here and faith in the legal system,” she said, “I believe the people here will do something for us. They will not leave us alone.”