Magazine article The Christian Century

Muslim and Refugee Groups Fight Travel Ban

Magazine article The Christian Century

Muslim and Refugee Groups Fight Travel Ban

Article excerpt

Gamileh Jamil from Buffalo, New York, was among the hundreds of protesters who gathered across the street from the White House to stand in solidarity with Muslims and refugees on October 18, the day the Trump administration's latest travel ban was due to take effect.

Jamil, executive director of ACCESS of Western New York, an Arab American community organization, said she sees the effects of refugees being denied shelter in the United States.

"We see on a daily basis," she said, "the tears, the frustrations of families being in a very traumatized, very war-stricken country and not being able to bring them in."

Trump had signed a proclamation September 24 that replaced a temporary travel ban for people from six majority-Muslim countries with a new, indefinite ban affecting eight countries.

The third version targets five countries included in the previous two--Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen--and adds Chad and North Korea, as well as some Venezuelan officials. Unlike the earlier bans, it treats some countries and types of travelers, such as students and tourists, differently than others.

The administration said that the new ban is "based on detailed findings regarding the national security interests of the United States that were reached after a thorough, worldwide review and extensive consultation."

On October 17 and 18, judges from Hawaii and Maryland temporarily blocked parts of the latest ban because of discrimination on the basis of nationality.

The Supreme Court had dismissed a major challenge to an earlier version of the ban, declaring it moot because of the new ban being issued. "We express no view on the merits," the justices said in a one-page order.

The decision effectively wiped the record clean in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, one of two federal appeals courts that had struck down major portions of Trump's travel ban. …

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