US Travel Ban

When I told people last November that with Trump in power I would no longer feel safe travelling to the US, many thought it was hyperbole. I think the events in the last week show pretty much what I meant. Sure, I have a Canadian passport, and the country my parents are from isn't one of the seven on the ban, so in theory I should be ok, right? Well, maybe. But that's like getting on an airplane and thinking "well I might not die."

I'm sorry, but that's just not right. Not to mention that Trump has also made it explicit that any non-Americans - including Canadians - have zero rights as soon as they're in the US. I mean, this guy had to have the Geneva Convention explained to him by Angela Merkel. So no, I don't feel safe going to the US. I have a muslim name, and even though in theory I should be ok, that's not a risk I'm willing to take.

This is pretty problematic. I work for a well-known company with a headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area. I've gone there twice in the year after I started for meetings. I'm not sure that'll be possible, or at least a good idea now. Many of the flights from Brazil (where I'm living right now) to Canada (where I'm from and where the rest of my family lives) go through the US. Since the US decided years ago that even people transiting must go through US customs, that's pretty much a no-go too.

Last year I'd actually started to think that I'd like to live in California. I've always gotten a good vibe there. I'm a geek, work in tech, and yet love getting outdoors. It helps that California has a climate I can actually live in, as opposed to Canada, which while I love the country is literally too cold for me to live there in Winter. That's off the table for at least the next 4 if not 10 years or more.

I'm not sure which is the saddest part of all of this: that it probably won't do anything to actually make Americans safer (spoiler alert: it won't - if anything it's going to make things a lot worse), or the number of refugees - really the victims in all of this - who will end up being screwed over once again. That's why this is going to backfire. Want to know the best way to create a terrorist? Kill their family, then grant them asylum, and then take that away from them.

Even if I personally felt safe going to the US, this is just all kinds of wrong. I can't believe a country that claims to support any kind of freedom is doing this.


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