Muslim Americans React to Supreme Court’s Approval of Trump Travel Ban
On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Trump’s travel ban on five Muslim countries, a ruling that angered many Muslims in America and around the world. In February 2Presidentsidet Trump invoked an executive order to restrict travel from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela and Chad. Three countries – North Korea and Venezuela were removed from the list but tougher travel limitations imposed, while Chad was also removed after meeting enhanced visa security requirements.
Only five countries remain banned from entering the United States – all of them Muslim countries.
“This Ruling Is a Profound Vindication,” President Trump Wrote
A number of federal court rulings invalidated Trump’s ealier travel ban, but the matter eventually went to the Supreme Court. Now 15 months later, the Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration in a 5-4 ruling. Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court stated that there is nothing anti-Muslim about the travel ban and it is more of a vetting visitors from countries which pose security risks to the United States.
In a statement released by the White House, the Trump administration celebrated the court’s ruling, elated that this is his administration’s first major legal victory on the merits of presidential initiatives.
“The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the president to defend the national security of the United States,” the White House statement said. “In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country. This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country.”
But several dissidents and the Muslim American community, mostly those from the five banned countries express dismay over the Supreme Court’s ruling. Many of them see the travel ban as a discriminatory policy aimed at undermining the ideals of an accommodating American nation.
Dissidents and the American Muslim Community See the Ruling as a Miscarriage of Justice
Americans from Syria and Yemen appear to be most worried over the travel ban, citing the ongoing war and violence in their home countries, NBC News wrote. These people expressed fear that their family members still left behind in war-torn Syria and Yemen may not be able to unite with them in the U.S. on account of the travel ban. Many who were already in the U.S. from the affected countries worried it would be very difficult to return to the U.S. if they ever travel back home.
Others who have not yet become full legal U.S. citizens have been denied entry from re-entering the U.S. after traveling outside the country.
Farah Al-khersan, a U.S. immigration attorney who emigrated from Iraq, was barred from re-entering the U.S. when she traveled to Canada last year. She had to prove that she is now a legal U.S. citizen working in a Detroit-area law firm before she could be allowed back in. In the light of the Supreme Court ruling, her advice for people with green cards or on non-immigrant visas is to remain within the U.S. and not think of traveling out for the time being.
Lina Sergie Attar of the Karam Foundation which helps Syrian refugees to settle down in Chicago says “the government that’s ruling America right now is not a very welcoming” at this time. Community activist Debbie Almontaser, who is of Yemeni extraction tells other immigrants that this is a dark period in American history. Dr. Ahmad Bailony, a San Diego-area pediatrician and the son of Syrian immigrants, wrote a scalding opinion in USA Today over the ban. Sufyan Sohel, head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago, said the ban is contrary to the true American spirit.
“This is a miscarriage of justice,” said Sohel. “The Supreme Court had an opportunity to remind this country that all of us, regardless of where we were born, what we look like, or how we pray, are welcome, and they failed. This ban was inspired by — and remains — contrary to the values of freedom and equality that are central to who we aspire to be as a nation.”