President Trump has signed an executive order that bans citizens from seven countries he claims export “Radical Islamic Terrorists.” The order employs an “extreme vetting” process that excludes any citizen from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the country.
Excluded from the ban are countries that have already committed terrorist acts inside the U.S., notably the September 11th attacks, which included terrorists from Saudi Arabia (15), United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. It is unclear what this order will accomplish, other than create some motivation for extremist groups.
Some executive order details include:
- Stop admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely.
- Prevent entry into the United States for 90 days from seven predominantly Muslim countries linked to concerns about terrorism.
The order also makes clear those seven countries are just a starting point for a broader ban. Trump coupled the signing process with xenophobic, irrational, disconnected discourse used consistently on the campaign trail stating without factual (or alternate) evidence or explanation “I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
Trump also neglects to mention that the United States has direct military involvement with or supporting military actions against three of the countries on the ban – in turn ignoring the United States roles (though the US is by no means the only inspiration) in inspiring terrorists.
The ban went into effect Friday night (Jan 27, 2017) and as a result, two refugees from Iraq, a country the United States has been militarily involved with for over fourteen years, were detained and refused entry at Kennedy Airport in New York. The detentions prompted legal challenges as their lawyers filed a writ of habeas corpus early Saturday in the Eastern District of New York seeking to have their clients released. At the same time, they filed a motion for class certification, in an effort to represent all refugees and immigrants who they said were being unlawfully detained at ports of entry.
The detainees, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, had worked on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for 10 years. The other, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, was coming to the United States to join his wife, who had worked for a U.S. contractor, and young son.