By: Ronald Mccarthy
In the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, America has seen a huge shift in its policies. President Trump has already started acting upon his words and is doing what he had rallied for throughout the campaign season. He signed a controversial bill that temporarily bans visitors and refugees from specific Muslim majority countries to enter the United States of America. President Trump made the ban one of the cornerstones of his campaign, calling for a "total and complete shutdown" of the entry of Muslims to the United States "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
Triggering a public uproar then, and an even bigger one now, the order seeks to ban visitors and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, including green card and visa holders. It caused chaos in dozens of airports, with travelers getting detained.
Seemingly, the number of banned countries is small, but is significant when you consider the economic impact. Many Americans, working in a variety of fields, are immigrants. In fact, this land was formed on the basic principle of providing opportunities for a better future for all, a testament to why people from every part of the world continue to come to America to build a better life. Immigrants from the seven banned countries—Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen—were not exceptions. Many of them, who have already built a life in America, are awaiting their green cards; the executive order will create an unstable situation for companies with employees from any of the aforementioned countries.
Silicon Valley has been no exception, where a number of technology companies such as Google have called their employees working in those countries to return to the U.S. The Executive Director of Council of American-Islamic Relations Zahra Billoo noted thousands of tech workers living in Silicon Valley or abroad could potentially be impacted by Trump's executive order.
About 250,000 Muslims are estimated to live in the Bay Area, many of whom are Arab or South Asian immigrants working at companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft.
The ban will also affect tourism. Muslims planning to travel to the U.S. for leisure will need to change their plans. Hotels, restaurants, gift shops and many other recreational spots that provide entertainment services will suffer immensely. The National Travel and Tourism Office 2014 Market profile shows that, in 2013, Muslim tourists from the Middle East spent on average of 6,000 USD with total spending by Middle Eastern tourists amounting to 6.8 billion USD.
The ban will hurt other industries, forcingmanagement teams to consider cuts in workforce or profits. Middle Eastern students who were thinking of studying in the United States will have to pursue other options. Even students who are refugees or missing paperwork, but currently admitted, are at risk of deportation. This will naturally affect the school’s admission rates and possibly its academic standing.
This is an important time for the American people. As things progress, the U.S. economy is sure to shift. President Trump ought to consider carefully how his ban will affect the American business industry and act for the betterment of the country and its people.