On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order called “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which he says is to screen out “radical Islamic terrorists.” The executive order is quite controversial and many of its critics refer to it as a “Muslim ban” because it temporarily bars the entry of even visitors from seven majority Muslim countries. Within 23 hours of the order being signed, immigration agents began detaining travelers from designated countries. Word spread through social media and protestors gathered at airports across the country to demand the detainees’ release and the rescinding of the ban; these protests continued the next day in airports and other locations nationwide. In addition, hundreds of attorneys showed up at U.S. airports to offer free legal help to the travelers and family members of loved ones detained under the executive order. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with other organizations, immediately challenged the executive order in court and a stay was issued, temporarily blocking President Trump’s policy from taking effect and preventing refugees and immigrants from being deported.
This lesson will provide an opportunity for students to learn more about the executive order and the actions immediately following the signing of it, reflect on trending hashtags to gain insight into people’s thoughts about the executive order, read an op-ed critical of the executive order and write their own op-ed that represents their point of view on the topic.