Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trump’s order to ban refugees and immigrants triggers fears across the globe

 President Trump’s executive order to tighten the vetting of potential immigrants and visitors to the United States, as well as to ban some refugees seeking to resettle in the country, will shatter countless dreams and divide families, would-be immigrants and human rights activists warned.

The draft order, expected to be signed as early as Thursday, calls for the immediate cessation of ongoing resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States, rejecting visas for visitors and immigrant hopefuls based partly on their ideology and opinions.

A copy of the draft orders was leaked Wednesday to civil rights groups and obtained by The Washington Post.

If the order is enacted, among those immediately affected would be potential immigrants and visitors from seven Muslim countries — Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Iran, Libya and Sudan — that are considered by the Trump administration as nations whose citizens “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” For the next 30 days, they will not be allowed entry into the United States, even if they have visas and relatives who are U.S. citizens.

The order also calls for halting all admission and resettlement of refugees for 120 days pending the review of vetting procedures. For Syrian refugees, the ban will remain in place until further notice.

Once restarted, annual refugee admissions from all nations would be halved, from a current level of 100,000 to 50,000.

For those affected, the fear is that the order will be a harbinger for even greater restrictions on the horizon for Muslim immigrants, refugees and visitors — fulfilling Trump’s campaign promises of “extreme vetting” of foreigners seeking entry into the United States and installing “a Muslim ban.” Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Iran are among the leading countries of origin of recent refugees to the United States.

“It’s going to be devastating,” said Denise Bell, senior campaigner for refugee and migrant rights for the watchdog group Amnesty International. “Refugees are not a threat. They are the ones fleeing horrific violence. They are trying to rebuild their lives. They want the same safety and opportunities that any of us would want.”

“And so we are scapegoating them in the guise of national security. Instead, we are betraying our own values. We are violating international law,” she said.

Since Wednesday, as news of the impending order spread, lives were quickly affected across the world, particularly among the citizens of the countries immediately targeted. For them, it's already difficult to get visas or immigrate to the United States. Vetting has been stringent since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, say human rights activists. Even so, many potential Muslim immigrants went through long screening processes, often lasting years, to gain entry to the United States. Now, many find themselves in an emotional and bureaucratic limbo. - Read More, washingtonpost


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