There’s a lot to say about President Trump’s executive order on Holocaust Remembrance Day banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days.
But this is one of the most telling:
His proposed list doesn’t include Muslim-majority countries where his Trump Organization has done business or pursued potential deals. Properties include golf courses in the United Arab Emirates and two luxury towers operating in Turkey.
The countries in red are included in the ban. The countries in yellow (where Trump has business interests) are not:
(Bloomberg News provides a handy guide to Trump’s potential conflicts of interest.)
Trump said the ban is designed to keep Islamic terrorists out of the US. But of the 19 9/11 hijackers responsible for the worst act of terrorism in American history, 15 were from Saudi Arabia (excluded from the ban), two were from the United Arab Emirates (excluded from the ban), and the others were from Egypt (excluded from the ban) and Lebanon (excluded from the ban).
Two days before Trump signed the ban, someone at the Pentagon posted this tweet:
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) January 25, 2017
Iraq is one of the countries to which the entry ban applies. Was Trump being trolled? I hope so.
Update: The New York Times reports:
Around the nation, security officers at major international gateways had new rules to follow. Humanitarian organizations scrambled to cancel long-planned programs, delivering the bad news to families who were about to travel. Refugees who were airborne on flights when the order was signed were detained at airports.
Reports rapidly surfaced Saturday morning of students attending American universities who were blocked from getting back into the United States from visits abroad. One student said in a Twitter post that he would be unable to study at Yale. Another who attends the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was refused permission to board a plane. Stanford University was reportedly working to help a Sudanese student return to California.
Human rights groups reported that legal permanent residents of the United States who hold green cards were being stopped in foreign airports as they sought to return from funerals, vacations or study abroad — a clear indication that Mr. Trump’s directive is being applied broadly.
Mr. Trump’s order, enacted with the stroke of a pen on Friday afternoon, suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The Department of Homeland Security said that the executive order barred green card holders from those countries from re-entering the United States.
At least one case quickly prompted a legal challenge as lawyers representing two Iraqi refugees held at Kennedy International Airport in New York filed a motion early Saturday seeking to have their clients released. They also filed a motion for class certification, in an effort to represent all refugees and other immigrants who they said were being unlawfully detained at ports of entry.
Shortly after noon on Saturday, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an interpreter who worked on behalf of the United States government in Iraq, was released. After nearly 19 hours of detention, Mr. Darweesh began to cry as he spoke to reporters, putting his hands behind his back and miming handcuffs.
“What I do for this country? They put the cuffs on,” Mr. Darweesh said. “You know how many soldiers I touch by this hand?”
The other man the lawyers are representing, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, remained in custody as his legal advocates sought his release.
Inside the airport, one of the lawyers, Mark Doss, a supervising attorney at the International Refugee Assistance Project, asked a border agent, “Who is the person we need to talk to?”
“Call Mr. Trump,” said the agent, who declined to identify himself.
I find it a little sickening myself.
Further update: Ben Jeffries, who used to comment here, has posted the following on Facebook:
My sister-in-law, Abeer, is in Khartoum. She holds a Sudanese passport *and* a Green Card residence permit for the USA, where she has been resident for nearly a decade. She was visiting her father, who is terminally ill. She has been caught by Trump’s ban on travel to the United States for citizens of Sudan.
Abeer’s husband, Mohammad, is working in the Gulf. He is a senior accountant for a US firm with extensive business in the Gulf states. He too is a Sudanese passport holder, and he too holds a US Green Card. He too is now unable to return to his family home in the USA.
Mohammad and Abeer have two children. Their son is nine years old, their daughter is six years old. Both children are staying with friends in the United States, their parents being unable to return to them. The children are clearly very upset and cannot understand why their parents cannot come home.
This situation is a fucking disgrace.