Jan 31, 2020
A chorus of condemnation met President Donald Trump's order Friday to expand the so-called Muslim ban which restricts immigration to the U.S. from Mulsim msjority countries by another six nations.
"The policies this administration has enacted towards people seeking safety have been cruel, inhumane, bigoted," Amnesty International executive director Margaret Huang said in a statement. "Once again, we reject these policies."
Trump's order adds Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, and Tanzania to the restricted travel list. The order takes effect February 22.
"President Trump is doubling down on his signature anti-Muslim policy--and using the ban as a way to put even more of his prejudices into practice by excluding more communities of color," said ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project director Omar Jadwat. "Families, universities, and businesses in the United States are paying an ever-higher price for President Trump's ignorance and racism."
The original travel ban barred nearly all immigrants and travelers from seven countries with majority Muslim populations. The policy was revised amid court challenges, but the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld it in June 2018.
Trump has made cracking down on immigration a focus of his 2020 re-election campaign. His travel ban policy is popular with Republican supporters.
That appeal to the right was noted by the Center for Constitutional rights, which said in a statement that Trump is "sending a message that the xenophobic platform that he ran on is one that he will continue to deliver on regardless of legal and human consequences."
National Iranian American Council president Jamal Abdi also took aim at the continuation of a policy rooted in prejudice.
"Today's expanded Muslim ban is yet another consequence of the courts and Congress allowing the President to discriminate against immigrant communities," said Abdi. "This expansion, which clearly has no basis in an imminent national security threat, should further motivate lawmakers to take swift action that has been delayed too long."
Beyond the racism and bigotry behind the policy, it also doesn't deliver on its core promise to keep Americans safe, advocacy group International Rescue Committee's Olga Byrne said in a statement.
"There is no evidence that individuals traveling from these countries present higher security risks," said Byrne.
What the policy will do, however, is hurt vulnerable refugees. The National Partnership for New Americans noted the admoinistration's antipathy to refugee resettlement and immigration in a press release condemning the policy, saying Trump's actions are making the U.S. into "just another nation that turns its back on people who need help most."
"This is an outright attempt to discriminate against people on religious, racial and ethnic grounds and to dismantle the refugee resettlement program," said organizer Basma Alawee, "which benefits mainly African and other Global South countries and has saved thousands of lives throughout the decades."
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