by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News
NEW YORK CITY — The New York Immigration coalition denounces and rejects President Donald Trump’s second travel ban.
On Monday morning, Trump signed a revised executive order that temporarily blocks the entry of people coming from six predominantly Muslim countries to the US for 90 days.
This includes Libya, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, and the Sudan.
Iraq is no longer in the list — but Mr. Trump said he may bring it back to the list, and even expand the ban to other countries.
Permanent residents, green card holders and current US visa holders are exempt from the new travel ban.
“The Trump administration thinks this is going to be more palatable in court; we don’t think so,” said Steven Choi from the New York Immigration Commission. “This is still an executive order that is motivated by prejudice…no way of dressing this up is going to hide this essential fact. This is an example of incompetence, and a bungled implementation of a foolish and misguided executive order…”
Trump says that this travel ban is a national security measure, meant to prevent attacks by extremists or radicalized militants.
But for this Yemeni American who petitioned her husband to join her here in the US, Trump’s travel ban made that dream seem impossible, for now.
“I keep thinking about the thousands of innocent people that would be turned away in the upcoming weeks, months, lives put on hold, families and loved ones separated,” said Raabyaah Athaibani, a demonstrator. “My husband cannot go back to Yemen because his life would be in imminent danger. I have a constitutional right as an American to have my husband be with me, and no ban can keep us apart.”
Libyan refugee Haas Agili was in danger of getting beheaded or thrown from a tall building for just being gay and Muslim in Libya.
It took him more than three years, before he eventually entered the US as refugee…
But his legal status is now on hold — because of Trump’s immigration order.
“I have no idea what will happen, I don’t know if I will be able to ever apply for greencard or I wouldn’t, I don’t know if I will be deported, I am just uncertain,” said Agli. “The idea that refugees are simply coming into our country without any kind of vetting is just that, it’s false…”
Immigrants’ advocates say Trump’s travel ban 2.0 is just a band aid solution to the broken US immigration system.
While it dropped the provision offering preferential status to persecuted religious minorities, it does not eliminate its central constitutional problem that it was based on religious discrimination and targets a group of people based on their country of origin.
The American Civil Liberties Union says it will continue to challenge the new travel ban in court, like it did with the first.