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Donald Trump bans nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States

Donald Trump bans nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States

Mr Trump provoked a fierce backlash at the weekend after signing an executive order on January 27, 2017 banning people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from travelling to America. There has been widespread protest in the US streets for the third consecutive day in support of immigrants and refugees affected by President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban. The executive order bars refugees from entering the country for 120 days, and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations for the next three months. Reports say protesters in Columbus, Ohio, shared videos on social media of police pepper spraying a crowd that refused to disperse. Otherwise, no arrests or disturbances were reported from demonstrations in front of state capitols and universities January 30 challenging what participants called a discriminatory policy against Muslims. This is happening despite of Donald Trump’s denial that his executive order is a Muslim ban, saying “this is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe.” But in signs and chants, protesters across the United States proclaimed the order un-American. Large crowds gathered in front of New York’s Columbia University condemning the order. They waved signs declaring “No one is illegal” and urging the public to “Resist Trump.” Outside the Ohio statehouse in Columbus, protesters chanted “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here.” Later in the evening, police pepper- sprayed demonstrators after they refused to get out of the street.

The demonstrations in America followed a day of peaceful marches across the United Kingdom. Londoners, incensed by Trump’s new immigration policies, took to the streets from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square — a roughly half-mile stretch wedged between St. James Park and the Thames River that includes 10 Downing Street. The throng lifted signs above their heads and chanted, “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Donald Trump has got to go!”

Ban on seven Muslim-majority countries

President Donald Trump banned nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries on January 27 from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days by executive order. The order bars all people hailing from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Those countries were named in a 2016 law concerning immigration visas as “countries of concern.”The executive order also bans entry of those fleeing from war-torn Syria indefinitely. Trump has also stopped the admission of all refugees to the United States for four months. The order also calls for a review into suspending the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allows travelers from 38 countries — including close allies — to renew travel authorizations without an in-person interview.

The seven Muslim-majority countries targeted in President Trump’s executive order on immigration were initially identified as “countries of concern” under the Obama administration. In the hours after its release, many questioned why the list omitted other countries with direct links to those terror attacks. The 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pointed on January 29 to the Obama administration’s actions as the basis for their selection of the seven countries. “What the president did was take the first step through this executive order of ensuring that we’re looking at the entire system of who’s coming in, refugees that are coming in, people who are coming in from places that have a history or that our intelligence suggests that we need to have further extreme vetting for.”

However, the decision of ban by Trump against some Muslim countries was not free from criticism for its arbitrariness. The critics question whether Trump deliberately left off countries where he has business interests. But the critics pointed out that Mr.Trump has excluded the countries in which he has business interest. The list does not include Muslim-majority countries where the Trump Organization does business, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. In financial disclosure forms during the presidential campaign, he listed two companies with dealings in Egypt and eight with business in Saudi Arabia. And in the UAE, the Trump Organization is partnering with a local billionaire to develop two golf courses in Dubai. However, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said (January 29) Trump’s business ties had no influence over the countries selected for the travel ban.

Some legal experts also raised questions on the legality of the ban. Already many visitors of the banned countries have sought legal redress. President Donald Trump’s executive order banning more than 218 million people from the United States was met with swift legal challenges over the weekend across the country. Judges from New York to Seattle have granted limited relief for citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries who have already arrived in the US (or are in the air) with a valid visa or green card, blocking their deportation from the country (for now).

 Background:

In December 2015, President Obama signed into law a measure placing limited restrictions on certain travelers who had visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011. Two months later, the Obama administration added Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the list, in what it called an effort to address “the growing threat from foreign terrorist fighters.”

The restrictions specifically limited what is known as visa-waiver travel by those who had visited one of the seven countries within the specified time period. People who previously could have entered the United States without a visa were instead required to apply for one if they had traveled to one of the seven countries. Trump’s order is much broader. It bans all citizens from those seven countries from entering the U.S. and leaves green card holders subject to being rescreened after visiting those countries.

The executive order specifically invoked the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A senior Trump administration official also pointed to the 2015 shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, to justify the President’s orders although neither of the attackers in the shooting would’ve been affected by the new ban.

On the legality of the ban, advocacy groups say they plan to file additional lawsuits in the days to come challenging the constitutionality of the order as whole. Trump’s order relies on the broad executive powers outlined in Immigration and Nationality Act (or INA), which provides:

“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

Another section of the law, however, states that “no person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.”

Experts have pointed to a variety of legal avenues foreign nationals potentially have at their disposal to challenge the order. Some say the most direct approach would be an attack based on the non-discrimination clause of the INA. David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote that “Trump’s new policy would run afoul of at least one if not all three of (the) restrictions — nationality, place of birth, or place of residence — depending on how it was applied.”

While the Act extends to green card holders, legal experts say refugees outside of the US may continue to be lawfully excluded before they enter because they lack a guaranteed right to come into the US under current law. Yet once on American soil, US and international law prohibits the deportation of non-citizens who can establish that they will face torture or persecution if returned home.

Downing Street has rejected calls to postpone Donald Trump’s official visit to Britain after hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition calling for the trip to be cancelled. Government seems to believe that cancelling the trip would be “populist gesture” and “undo everything” achieved by Theresa May during her trip to the US last week. It comes after confusion surrounded Government advice given to British nationals caught up in Mr Trump’s travel ban. On the night of January 29 Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary reportedly secured assurances from the White House that the vast majority of British citizens will be exempted from Donald Trump’s immigration ban. U.K Foreign Secretary said the ban is a matter for the US government, but “on the face of it Donald Trump’s executive order has consequences for British citizens.”This statement created confusion in the U.K. However, he later said he had received assurances that “all British passport holders remain welcome to travel to the US and “ order will make no difference.”

Barack Obama, former US President  has expressed his supports mass protests against the “extreme vetting” orders of Donald Trump with regard to ban on the Muslim countries and migrants coming to the country.He  fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion according to his   spokesman.”Citizens exercising their Constitutional rights to assemble, organise and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”

 

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