Muslim advocates in Orlando stand against Trump's new travel ban


  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Muslim advocates in Orlando are standing against President Donald Trump's new restrictions on the travel ban against certain foreigners from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

The previous travel ban already included Muslim-majority countries like Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Now Chad, another Muslim-majority county, has been added to the list, as well as specific restrictions for each country. Most immigrants and non-immigrants from the countries will be denied entry, while the ban in Venezuela only suspends the entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate families.

"Making America safe is my number one priority," Trump tweeted after announcing the new restrictions. "We will not admit those into the country we cannot safely vet."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations-Florida (CAIR Florida), the state's largest Muslim civil liberties group, condemned the newest iteration of the travel ban in a statement.

"This is exactly what we warned about," said Hassan Shibly, CAIR Florida's director. "First they start with Muslims, then they target other groups, both as to appear not to be engaging in religious persecution and to limit the immigration of more people of color to America. Sorry, Mr. President, but you don't get a pass on racism by banning more minorities."

Rasha Mubarak, the Central Florida regional director for CAIR Florida, called it a "Muslim ban," citing Trump's past rhetoric against Muslims on the campaign trail.

"It's illegal, it's unconstitutional, it's quite frankly, un-American," Mubarak said at press conference Tuesday. "Just because there's a change in approach of how many Muslims have been banned, it doesn't change. Just because three more countries were added and tokenized, it does not change the intention. Enough of this illegal intention to broadcast a message that Islam is not worthy, that Islam is only worthy of suspicion."

State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, said it was frustrating to be fighting against "another bigoted Muslim ban" when 3.4 million Puerto Rican American citizens are without power on the island and need help from the federal government.

"This ban is lipstick on an Islamophobic pig," he says. "What we have here is a situation where other Muslim-majorities countries were not included in the travel ban. Why were countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates left off the list? Could it possibly be because Trump has business ties in those countries, even though these are the countries where most of the 9/11 attackers came from? This travel ban makes no sense."

CNN reports the U.S. Supreme Court will listen to arguments on the legality of the ban in October.

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