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New Terrorist Attack Likely to Worsen Trump's Travel Ban

If the Trump administration attempts to tighten its travel ban in the wake of the New York terror attack, it will likely add to the racial and religious divide in US society, experts said

By Han Bingbin Updated Nov.2

Experts believe that the recent terrorist attack in New York City will give the Donald Trump administration cause to tighten up its travel ban and meanwhile add to the racial and religious divide afflicting US society, according to a report by news site The Paper.  

The attacker’s Central Asian origin and self-claimed connection to the Islamic State jihadist group will lead the US government to tighten immigration policies and crack down even more strictly on illegal immigrants, Wei Zongyou, a professor at the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, was cited by The Paper as saying.  

It will also add legitimacy to Trump’s travel ban, which has been criticized as an arbitrary act, Yu Jinahua told the news site. Yu is the deputy director of the Institute of International Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. He added that the US government will likely expand the travel ban to cover not only Islamic nations, but also some Central Asian countries.   

But Li Quan, a professor at the School of Political Science and Public Administration at Wuhan University, believes expanding the travel ban will do little to help the situation. The US can hardly ban all kinds of exchanges between citizens of the US and Islamic states, Li said, pointing out that the arrested members of an attempted terrorist group actually came to the US from non-Islamic states.  

Experts believe that the recent attack will worsen the racial and religious divide in US society. Wei said it would give Trump and the hawks in his administration more excuses to stand against Muslims. These policies of hostility and the ongoing rhetoric will likely trigger a backlash from Muslim groups, he said.  

Li, however, believes the US government will act publicly to mediate racial conflicts, but internally it will step up efforts on information collection and monitoring.