The Center for Inquiry put out a statement unequivocally condemning Trump’s anti-Muslim immigration order, calling it an “act of cruelty” that illegally engages in discrimination. I particularly like what my friend Michael De Dora has to say:
President Trump’s order, issued on Friday, bars citizens from seven countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — from entering the U.S. for the next three months and suspends the admission of all refugees for four months. However, it includes an exemption for people who face “religious-based persecution” and who belong to “a minority religion” in their country. Trump stated to the media that he will give priority to Christians, and his advisor Rudy Giuliani admitted the order is nothing more than a dressed-up Muslim ban.
“There are many Christians in desperate need of help in the countries included in Trump’s order, and the U.S. must extend them refuge, wherever they come from,” said Nick Little, CFI’s vice president and general counsel. “But to do so at the legal exclusion of countless other groups also suffering tragic and brutal persecution — such as minority Muslim populations and the nonreligious — is precisely the kind of religious preference in law that is prohibited by the First Amendment. It is an affront to not only American values, but the most basic notions of compassion for our fellow human beings.”“Abandoning our core legal principles, or stereotyping over a billion people as threats, only harms our efforts to combat terrorists claiming to represent Islam.”
Over the weekend, individuals abroad had visa appointments cancelled and individuals arriving at U.S. airports with visas and green cards — including children and octogenarians — were handcuffed and/or detained. In New York City, an Iraqi interpreter for the U.S. Army was separated from his wife and children and held for more than 19 hours. Some people were held without food or water for hours.
“This executive order has no basis in facts, reason, or human decency,” said Michael De Dora, CFI’s domestic and international policy director. “Not a single terrorist attack in the U.S. traces back to any of the seven countries named in the order. Yet people fleeing certain countries on the list — including Syria, Yemen, and Iraq — are trying to escape humanitarian crises that the United States had a hand in creating. Now we are going to shut the door on them? That is simply shameful behavior.”
I couldn’t agree more.