Princeton College Republicans take official stance against Trump’s travel ban

“We’ll make sure that we are true to our conservative and Republican values.”

On the eve of the expected roll-out of Trump’s revised travel ban, Princeton College Republicans took an official stance against Trump’s executive orders targeting citizens of select Muslim-majority countries. Their statement is as follows:

“The Princeton College Republicans condemn Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban. The Executive Order aimed at the 7 Muslim-majority countries does little, if anything at all, to deter domestic terrorism and promote national security. Since 9/11, no American has died as a result of those who’ve emigrated from the seven targeted countries. More importantly, the ban is counterproductive. Many Muslims, both in the U.S. and abroad, view the ban as an attack not on specific terrorist actors, but on the entire Muslim religion and people. Thus, this act will fray our local connections and relationships in these countries that are vital to our counter-terrorism effort. Further, the ban plays right into the hands of terrorist recruitment efforts that seek to paint the United States as at war with the entirety of Islam, not just specific radical groups.”

The Tab sat down with four officers of College Republicans – CR president John Zarrilli, a junior, Trevor Ray Nesse, a junior, Jacob Berman, a freshman, and Max Parsons, a freshman to discuss their positions.

What brought you to take a stance on this issue at this particular time?

Zarrilli: With the rise of Trump, who’s not particularly the normal conservative or Republican, it’s important that College Republicans take frequent positions on issues of the day so that we can maintain the traditional conservative and Republican values we cherish. Secondly, we want to create a dialogue on campus. I think there’s a lot of merit in conservative and Republican ideals and I think we’re a reasonable bunch.

Ray Nesse: In taking a position on this matter, it’s important to set a precedent for not revealing College Republicans to necessarily acquiesce or agree with everything that President Trump does and to distinguish conservatism in practice from the actions of our president.

Zarrilli: And naturally, we’ll agree a lot with what president Trump does too, because he is a Republican president. We’ll make sure that we are true to our values.

On what grounds do you take issues with the travel ban?

Ray Nesse: In looking at the ban from the standpoint of neo-conservative foreign policy, what Trump is doing is counterproductive. His policies could negatively impact our military strategy in places like Iraq where we are working with Kurdish resistance groups and other friendly Muslim populations. They would find the ban to be a sign of distrust or disrespect among Americans for Muslims in general.

Trump’s ban also affects refugees from the countries he listed. What is your take on the issue of admitting refugees?

Zarrilli: I think we have a humanitarian duty to aid refugees in war-torn areas. We also should’ve learned from our refusal to accept Jews from the pre-WWII Era.

It is reported that on Monday, Trump will release a revised executive order to limit travels from select Muslim-majority countries. Would your position potentially change?

Zarrilli: I think the general premise of his updated executive order will be the same. If there’s a radical change, we can change our statement. But we do oppose the general premise and want to distinguish ourselves from Trump.

Do you think you will be conveying your stance to your legislators?

Zarrilli: I don’t think so. I think speaking with legislators is more symbolic than influential.

Would you say that you are “anti-Trump” in the sense that you don’t support his policies?

Parsons: I support policies, not politicians. There have been some positives and negatives in Trump’s presidency so far and I am not a fan of many of Trump’s policies.

Zarrilli: I’m generally not a fan of Trump. I’m not a fan of his policies, of his rhetoric, or of how he diminishes the marginalized in his actions.

Princeton University