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Banning immigrants is detrimental to society

My parents immigrated to the United States 28 years ago from Pakistan. Now, as a soon-to-be lawyer, I can’t help but think about the current political climate surrounding immigration. More specifically, under the revised Executive Order 13780 or “Muslim Ban 2.0,” nationals from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya would not be able to obtain visas to the United States for 90 days. Additionally, the refugee program would be suspended for 120 days.

The suspension of the refugee program is troublesome. Syria has been facing an ongoing civil war since March 2011. An estimated 470,000 Syrians have been killed and 6.3 million people have been displaced internally.

Banning immigrants and refugees is detrimental to society. Immigrants and refugees are economically important as they contribute to the workforce, pay taxes and help cities that are declining in population.

For example, immigrants are growing Erie County’s population. According to a study by the Partnership for the Public Good, Erie County resettled 9,723 refugees from 2003 to 2014. These resettled refugees are helping Buffalo’s economy by opening immigrant-owned businesses in the West Side, bringing about cultural diversity.

Immigrants and refugees are what make America great. I wouldn’t be where I am today if two Muslim immigrants were denied the right to enter into the place I call home.

Natasha Yunas

Amherst

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