U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries and banning Syrian refugees indefinitely will likely land his administration in court. Zachary Goelman reports.
(Reuters, CBS) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees and blocking visitors to the U.S. from seven predominately Muslim countries sparking despair overseas, outrage at home, and will likely land the Trump administration in court.
The order puts a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the country, and a ninety-day halt on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Trump saying the order is necessary to protect the United States.
U.S. President Donald Trump,
‘We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.’
Donald Trump campaigned on barring Muslims from entering the U.S. after the San Bernardino attack in 2015.
Neither that massacre, nor any of the jihadist-inspired attacks inside the U.S. in recent years were perpetrated by refugees, or by citizens of any of the nations temporarily banned. The 9-11 hijackers were Egyptian and Saudi nationals. Those countries are unaffected.
The order also bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. Over 300,000 civilians have died in Syria’s civil war. The U.N. estimates nearly 11 million people are displaced, five million of them as refugees in neighboring countries.
The reaction from Syrian refugees living in Jordan was clear.
Abdelhakim Kiwan, Syrian refugee in Jordan,
‘We want to send a message to President Trump as a helpless people, who want to stay away from terrorism and war, away from all these problems. We want to live in peace, we do not want to go to the United States to carry out terrorist operations. We are against terrorism.’
Another group now fearful: Iraqis who worked with U.S. and coalition forces during the occupation of Iraq. Many of these, who worked as translators, have tried to flee the violence in Iraq and the threat of violence for having collaborated with Washington. One former U.S. Army Captain telling Reuters he believes the order will make it harder for the U.S. to recruit Iraqi support and intelligence in the fight against ISIS.
Reports of Iraqis with U.S. visas detained at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport prompting lawsuit challenging the order Saturday morning.
The order also says it would prioritize refugees fleeing religious persecution. Donald Trump said that move aimed at helping Syrian Christians. Critics say creating a religious test to enter the United States violates the U.S. constitution. THe Council on American-Islamic Relations is planning a court challenge Monday.
Panic in the business world as well: reports Saturday that Google parent company Alphabet immediately recalling staff back to the United States, fearing they may be impacted by the executive order.