President Donald Trump has made good on his campaign promise to ban Muslims from the America by temporarily making it illegal for visa-holders and permanent residents from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the U.S.
He has also barred all refugees from coming to the U.S. for the next 120 days.
“We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas,” Trump said Friday. “We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.”
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Citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen are now barred from entering the country, no matter how long they have lived and/or worked in U.S.
Iran condemned the order as an “open affront against the Muslim world and the Iranian nation” and vowed to retaliate, with news breaking that they may also put a ban on U.S. citizens. According to the Associated Press, The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it would challenge the the executive order.
“There is no evidence that refugees — the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation — are a threat to national security," the council's national litigation director Lena F. Masri said following the news. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”
The order lacks specificity, which will make it difficult to determine exactly who will and will not be able to enter the country under the new legislation. "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 abroad," former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services chief counsel Stephen Legomsky said. "It's extraordinarily cruel."
Refugees traveling into the U.S. on Friday night were being detained at airports. Two Iraqi refugees detained at Kennedy Airport in New York reportedly filing a writ of habeas corpus seeking to be released.
Though Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan praised Trump for his move, many Democrats have swiftly denounced the order.
“Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight as a grand tradition of America, welcoming immigrants, that has existed since America was founded, has been stomped upon,” said Democractic Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer said.
Truly a sad day in America, indeed.