President Trump’s Executive Order on travel to the U.S., receives mixed reactions
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News January 30, 2017 Updated: 4:22 PM
After attending the swearing-in ceremony of General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense Friday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending all immigration from countries with terrorism concerns for 90-120 days. The countries included in the ban are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, which are all Muslim-majority nations. He declared, Christians would be given preference when deciding, who to let in.
The lack of details and communication between the White House, Homeland Security, and Immigration authorities created chaos that leads to immigrants being handcuffed, questioned upon entry to the U.S., and, unable to board flights that were headed to the United States. Not only are they detaining immigrants arriving for the first time, they are detaining Green Card holders.
There have been reports that all detainees are required to give their social media accounts and cell phone contact list. Some detainees have reported being asked, “How do you feel about President Trump”. Detainees report being held for hours without anyone to translate what was happening and unable to get an attorney, to represent them.
Leaders of several nations rejected President Trump’s executive order and quickly moved to distance themselves while others, cheered them on with glee. European nationalist and far-right groups who, are viewed by most Americans as hateful and racist, are applauding the U.S. travel restrictions.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "I am convinced that even the necessary, resolute fight against terrorism doesn't justify putting people of a particular origin or particular faith under general suspicion."
According to a German spokesman, Merkel raised the issue during a phone call with Trump on Saturday. She spoke of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention, that calls on signatories to take in people fleeing war. The spokesman also said, “The German government will now examine what consequences the U.S. government's measures will have for German citizens with dual citizenship and, if necessary, represent their interests toward our American partners."
In contrast to Chancellor Merkel’s welcoming sentiments, Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party is celebrating what they described as "the massive restriction on the entry of pseudo-refugees and Muslims to the USA." They wrote on their official Facebook page, "For the first time ever one can say from a nationalist perspective, keep going the USA."
French President Francois Hollande, said, "when (Trump) rejects the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we should respond to him." The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau said, “We welcome people of all races and religions.”
The Dutch anti-Islam populist politician, Geert Wilders, said in a tweet "Well done @POTUS it's the only way to stay safe + free. I would do the same. Hope you'll add more Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia soon."
Wilders represents the Party for Freedom who is, polling strongly, ahead of the March 15 election, sent out another tweet that said, "No more immigration from any Islamic country is exactly what we need. Also in The Netherlands. For Islam and freedom are incompatible."
Protest in the United States against the travel restrictions have cropped up in several cities. There was a heavy police presence during a peaceful protest at Washington Dulles International Airport where people began chanting, "Love, Not Hate, Makes America Great" and "Say It Loud, Say it Clear, Muslims Are Welcome Here." Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said during a press conference at Dulles that he has asked Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to look into "all legal remedies" available to help individuals who may be detained in Virginia.
Trump carried the very red state of Texas, in the election, but after hearing about several detainees including, the 70 year old Iranian mother of 43 year old network engineer Bahzad Honarjou, being detained and set for immediate return to Iran, protesters gathered at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Saturday to voice their displeasure with Trump's executive order by frequently chanting, "Set them free."
There were seventeen people held at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. A Park Ridge resident returning from Iran with his family had a green card, and his wife is a U.S. citizen, were detained at O'Hare. The couple told the Chicago Tribune that they “work at a community college in the Chicago area, and were questioned for five hours.” After he was released, his wife told the Tribune, "I can't believe something like this can happen to someone with a green card."
Not only are they detaining green card holders, there are detainees who cannot get attorneys to come and represent them in some cities.
At JFK Airport in New York, a crowd of more than 2,000 people pleading "Let them in!" after 12 refugees were detained early Saturday. The agency that runs the airport tried to shut down the train that runs to the airport but Gov. Andrew Cuomo, took immediate steps to over-ride the decision saying "The people of New York will have their voices heard." In nearby Philadelphia, 4000 protesters jammed the airport on Sunday.
In California, at Los Angeles International Airport, Avriel Epps held a candle and a photo of a drowned 3-year-old Syrian boy who washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015 and became the face of the Syrian refugees. She was joined by more than 300 people who expressed their disappointment with the ban. Further north in San Francisco, protesters blocked the street outside of San Francisco’s Airport international terminal to, oppose the immigration ban.
Trump supporters are delighted with the ban. They claim to be watching to see if he will cave-in to pressure as he seems to be doing with what they referred to as, “illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America.”
A Federal Judge has issued a Temporary Stay Order, blocking the detention and return of immigrants with, legal documents to enter the U.S. Reports that the Trump administration department of Homeland Security clarified the executive order, to giving guidance to Customs and Immigration officials that, the ban will not include Green Card holders. However, they will still have to submit to extra scrutiny, but they will not be denied entry into the United States.