by Joshua Sparks
We must zealously protect our First Amendment rights in the wake of President Trump’s Muslim travel ban.
The suspension of travel to the United States imposed by President Trump’s recent executive order has sparked controversy, and the recent court decision scotching implementation likely has not diminished frustration with what amounts to a ban of Muslim immigrants. Trump’s order blocked travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, (with the notable exception of Christian refugees), stranding many at international airports, turning away others, separating families, slowing travel times, and affecting students and even people who assisted the U.S. military. Talk of priority for Christian refugees has led to the assumption that there will be an enforced religious test for prospective travelers, which is forbidden by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The initial confusion and distress caused by the order may have passed, but the Trump administration’s vow to continue to fight for this ban provides an opportunity to candidly discuss the First Amendment and its protections.