Debates, Resources

TRAVEL BAN; A SECURITY MEASURE OR A DECLARATION OF HATE? By Victor ADEYEMO 

TRAVEL BAN; A SECURITY MEASURE OR A DECLARATION OF HATE?

Delivered at Quarter-Finals, Faculty Round, Jaw War 2017  

Mosquitoes are the most annoying creatures in Africa, widely spread from the south to the eastern regions of the continent. They not only suck our precious blood, but they also leave us with malaria as a thank you present. Their music, oh, the sound that plays in our ears as if they are mocking us. To protect ourselves from the piercing proboscis of these terrorists, we devised mosquito nets, a security measure that bans them from travelling into our sleeping territory.  In the same manner, a travel ban exists to function as a security measure and not a declaration of hate.

Judges, I stand before you today to affirm that a travel ban is indeed a security measure and not a declaration of hate.

First, it will interest you to know that a travel ban is permitted and fully provided for by the United Nations. According to paragraph 1 (b) of the United Nations Security Council resolution 2161 (2014), Member States are obliged to: Prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals from security prone countries. In fact, member states are encouraged to take other relevant measures in accordance with their national laws and regulations just to ensure effective implementation of the ban.  Ladies and gentlemen, the question then is, would the UN allow this provision just to cause a hate war amidst its 193 member nations and stand against the very thing it was established to curb? The fact that the UN permits and allows a travel ban is more than sufficient to know that it is to aid one of its core objectives – promoting international peace and security and not to declare hate among member nations as my opponents suppose.

Do you know that the scope of security is beyond just violence and terror? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary; security means freedom from danger, fear or anxiety. Therefore, when a thing poses danger or fear to any aspect of our lives, it causes insecurity in that area. During the Ebola outbreak of 2014, various countries began to implement travel bans just to ensure the health security of their citizens. In Columbia, upon the recommendation of the Columbia National Institute of Health, travellers from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal were barred from entering the country. The same security measure was taken in South Africa, St. Lucia, Zambia and Jamaica. Ladies and gentlemen, these countries put these bans in place not because they resented travellers from this country. But because enforcing the ban as of then was the logically appropriate and necessary security measure to take. Afterall, eniyan ki la oju e sile ki talubo ko wo. A man does not leave his eyes wide open and watch an insect crawl in.

Ladies and gentlemen, do you also know that the concept of a travel ban is not restricted to countries and nations alone? Individual bans also exist. Just last week, November 1, 2017, according to the new york times, Ololade Keshinro popularly known as Lil-Kesh was deported from the United States and allegedly banned for five years for performing with a visitor’s visa. This was not because the people of the United States hated him, but because his actions contradicted the laws of the land. Therefore the officials had to ban him as a legal security measure.

Furthermore, we may not have done justice to this debate if we have not considered what might be my opponent’s primary focus of interest.  The Trump travel ban and the controversies it has generated in the US. This ban prohibits citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States. This according to President Donald Trump in an interview with MSNBC is to be a temporary move until the country’s representatives could identify the real problem behind the security challenges in the country. The ban was initiated to help the government identify the problem, isolate the problem and deal with the problem. This was the reason for the ban.  The security of lives and property.

However, if my opponents still come here to claim it is a declaration of hate, then I ask, why was it that Trump declared his intention to enforce this order even before he was elected president?  Why is it that the move is temporary, just for 60 days and exceptions are even allowed?  And why is it that the countries on this list have originally been flagged by the Obama administration for the visa waiver program improvement and terrorist travel prevention act of 2015 as areas of terror concern?  Evidently, Trump’s action was borne out of a necessity for security and not hatred in obscurity.

In conclusion, it has been said that when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable.  It is when the purpose of a thing is understood that its relevance is appreciated. It appears today that my opponents have failed to realize the purpose and reason for the travel ban. Hence, their stance in today’s debate. Yet, if they have chosen to close their eyes to the gospel truth in today’s debate, I will not be weary of preaching it to the ears that a travel ban is a security measure and not a declaration of hate.