Editorial: Local cases show Trump's immigration ban has price our congressmen should acknowledge

  • Hessameddin Noorian of Park Ridge says he and his family felt "like prisoners" when they were detained upon arriving at O'Hare Airport Saturday.

      Hessameddin Noorian of Park Ridge says he and his family felt "like prisoners" when they were detained upon arriving at O'Hare Airport Saturday. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
Posted1/30/2017 7:13 PM

One ought not be shocked by the sweeping temporary ban on immigration ordered Friday by President Trump. Candidate Trump had been promising such an order for more than a year. Likewise, President Trump ought not be shocked by the reaction. From the day he proposed an immigration ban, critics have decried the strategy as un-American, uncompassionate, unnecessary and counterproductive. Now, we are seeing the practical results of an immigration ban, and we are seeing that it is more than an abstract point of argument whose only impact will be on nameless foreigners.

It also affects Hessameddin Noorian, a 36-year-old Oakton Community College math tutor from Park Ridge. Noorian, working here on a green card, told our Madhu Krishnamurthy that he and his family were made to feel "like prisoners" upon returning home from a trip to show off their 6-month-old son to relatives in Iran.

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It affects Nazanin Zinouri, a 29-year-old graduate of Northern Illinois University who, according to the Associated Press, took a three-week vacation to visit family in Iran only to find herself wondering when, or if, she'll be allowed to return home to her job at a technology company in in South Carolina.

It affects Dr. Amir Heydari, a Crystal Lake surgeon from Iran who told the Northwest Herald he was briefly detained Saturday and worries about "our human rights and people possibly taking them away."

These are just some of the local connections we are learning about in the first chaotic stages of the president's order. We have no word yet on what potential terrorists the ban has turned back or might turn back. Perhaps that will come later. What we do know is that some of our neighbors, people who indeed were thoroughly "vetted," to use the word of the hour, and who have begun putting down roots and raising their families among us, are directly affected.

Considering that, our elected leaders have a responsibility to make their positions known on the immigration ban, and give some indication of how they will react to it, both for the country as a whole and for the specific individuals living in the areas they represent.

Assuming that responsibility was comparatively easy for suburban Democrats, all of whom have long opposed the idea of an immigration ban. It may not have been so easy for Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, of Plano, who bucked his party and released a statement Monday criticizing the president's order as "overly broad" leading to an interpretation that has been "inconsistent and confused." It seems particularly difficult for Wheaton Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, who still has not commented.

Presumably, the "inconveniences" - to use the word of President Trump's aides - that individuals from the suburbs and around the country are enduring are the price our society must pay to ease the fear of terrorism. It remains to be seen whether that cost to our country's image, stature and self-esteem is justified. It is at least reassuring to recognize those leaders who are willing to acknowledge how high it is.

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