President Trump’s ban on immigration of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries ran into, at least, a temporary roadblock the night of January 28th. A U.S. District judge in Brooklyn granted an emergency stay, sought by immigrants’ rights lawyers. The judge’s ruling applies to those who have already arrived in the U.S. and those who are in transit who hold valid visas. The decision halts part of Trump’s executive order, which barred citizens from those seven countries for the next 90 days. Trump said he would deport families “together.” They’d be required to leave the United States and only once they left could some come back under an expedited process, he said, because “we either have a country or we don’t have a country.”
This is where Trump’s criteria gets tricky to pin down. The list of countries monitored by the State Department is not always clear-cut, often because terrorism by nature is not confined by borders. An example would be al-Qaida, which made a global strategy out of setting up terror cells in different countries throughout a single region. Key ally countries like the U.K., France, Belgium, Germany, India and Israel could easily fall into Trump’s plan to restrict immigration from countries with a history of “Islamic terror”. With nearly 1.6 billion people who identify as Muslim worldwide, and more than 50 countries in the world where most citizens are Muslim. Trump’s executive order, suspends the entry of all refugees to the U.S. for 120 days, halts admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely, and bars entry for three months to residents from the predominantly Muslim countries such as Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
The ban restricts green card holders and people with valid visas alike. Some travelers who were in the air while Trump signed the order could not enter the country when they landed. Some were even detained. Others were sent back to where they were flying in from. Lawsuits began to fly and by the next night a federal judge had temporarily and partially blocked Trump’s order. This sudden change to US policy on immigrants and refugees also caused chaos and confusion, with airport staff uncertain about what the orders meant, and some travelers detained or refused entry to the US. Amongst this chaos imagine how many families who were simply traveling, have been detained, how many people who went through the system and completed the processes to gain a visa or a green card, have been detained. This tragic and horrific act has caused only more pain to people simply trying to keep their families and themselves safe.