Can Muslims still enter the US? Fear abounds after Trump victory.


With Tuesday's Election Day victory for Republican Donald Trump came a wave of uncertainty for Muslims both within the U.S. and abroad. Trump campaigned on the promise of enacting a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the U.S. — a proposal that garnered support from Trump's base in the primaries but criticism from fellow right-wing leaders like former Vice President Dick Cheney. 

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But less than 24 hours after Trump clinched the presidency, the promise to enact a ban on Muslims had mysteriously disappeared from his campaign website. But on Thursday afternoon, it reappeared, which means that Trump could actually make good on his promise to close the U.S. off to an entire religion — one that counts more than 1 billion people among its ranks.

Muslims across the globe expressed fear on social media Thursday and wondered what a Trump presidency might bring.

A ban on Muslims entering the U.S. is probably — but not definitely — unconstitutional, and, as of this week, there is no existing prohibition on Muslims entering the U.S. because of their religion, either as tourists, immigrants or refugees. 

Although, as human rights attorney Diala Shamas explained in a piece for the Washington Post in 2015, there are already policies in place that make it tacitly easier to deny Muslims a fair chance at U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, like the No Fly List, which unfairly targets Muslims and, per Shamas' piece, is "riddled with errors."

So while Trump has yet to take office and implement any form of his proposed Muslim ban, the tide of anti-Muslim sentiment that helped to elect him has existed in the U.S. for years. Muslim tourists can visit the U.S., and many Americans are ready to welcome them with open arms — but the forces that made it possible to elect Donald Trump have long been trying to make it more difficult for Muslims to come to the U.S.