New packaging, same fear and hate.
Donald Trump’s Executive Order on immigration may have been revised, but it remains blatantly discriminatory.
Thinly disguised as a national security measure, Trump’s travel ban reinstates many of the most repellent elements of the original blocked by US courts.
The US president has effectively shut America’s door to anyone – including refugees – from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. These six countries have two main things in common: they are predominantly Muslim, and many of their citizens are trying to seek asylum abroad to escape serious human rights violations like persecution, indiscriminate bombing, and torture.
Rather than curbing the excesses of the first travel ban, the revised version shows a xenophobic policy towards Muslims which is mutating, virus-like, into an ever more resilient strain. And like a virus, its effects cannot be easily contained.
Family ripped apart at the stroke of a pen
“I had no choice but to leave my baby … It was a very cruel choice, but what could I have done? I had no other choice. I couldn’t risk all of them losing their chance of getting in.”
Baraa Ahmed, US-Yemeni dual national
It was an excruciating choice that no family should ever have to make.
Should they stay together with their two young daughters and miss perhaps their only chance to escape the horrors of war, or should they make a break for freedom but leave their year-old baby behind in a foreign land half-way around the world?
This was the devil’s dilemma facing US-Yemeni dual national Baraa Ahmed and his wife, who were separated from their breastfeeding baby in the wake of President Trump’s discriminatory travel ban last month.
When a US District Court issued a temporary stay on the ban, Yemenis who had valid visas rushed to get to the USA to avoid the threat of being barred again. But a visa for Baraa’s infant daughter had not yet been approved, so the couple faced an impossible decision – opting to fly to the USA, leaving their child behind.