Monday, 20 November, 2017

Trump's order barring refugees flies in the face of logic and humanity

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Saul Franklin | 31 January, 2017, 04:15

Trump's order, which was put out without consultation with US agencies or with key Republican committee chairman, some of whom have complained about it, did not provide an immediate carve-out for those who have aided the U.S.

The official wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the details of how Trump's order is being put in place and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

To be sure, a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion is a ground for refugee status, but it is is improper to prioritise this over persecution on grounds of race, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

According to a 2016 study by the CATO Institute, there's only a one in a 3.64 billion chance of being killed in an act of terrorism committed by a refugee of any nationality; that's a 0.00000003 percent chance of being murdered by a refugee. What the Trump administration is doing flies in the face of that basic truth.

Since the order's travel ban applies to all "aliens" - a term that encompasses anyone who isn't an American citizen - it could bar those with current visas or even green cards from returning to the U.S. from trips overseas, said Stephen Legomsky, a former chief counsel to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under President Obama.

Asked about Friday's immigration order, Trump suggested an orderly rollout. "You see it at the airports; you see it all over".

Syrian refugees are banned from entry until further notice.

The legal action named Trump in his official capacity as president, as well as the Department of Homeland Security and other high-ranking officials. "Everyone who needed to know was informed", one aide said.

On Friday, President Donald Trump set into motion the fulfillment of one of his cornerstone campaign promises-restricting the entry of refugees and immigrants for the purposes of national security.

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Two Iraqis, Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkaleq Alshawi, were among those held at JFK airport in the hours after Trump's new order, later to be released Saturday night. One view is that the ruling only applies to people now being detained at airports and other ports of entry, as well as those stranded mid-travel.

Shortly after noon, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an interpreter who worked for more than a decade on behalf of the USA government in Iraq, was released.

"What I do for this country?" As of 5:40 p.m. GMT (12:40 ET), 27,000 said they were attending the event while 33,000 said they may be going.

"I was very scared. If I can't go back soon, I'll lose everything".

It was unclear how many refugees and other immigrants were being held nationwide in relation to the executive order although there were reports of detentions from the airports serving Atlanta, Houston, Detroit and Washington, D.C., among others. "I was 100 percent sure I wasn't coming in", he said.

Some Republicans have welcomed Mr Trump's announcement, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, who said it was "time to re-evaluate and strengthen the visa vetting process".

What does it mean for green card holders?

'Even people that are doing seemingly benign things in support of us - whether as a linguist, a driver, anything else - they often do that at great personal risk, ' Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters Monday.

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