Mon | Mar 19, 2018

Growing fallout from Trump's new immigration crackdown

Published:Sunday | January 29, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Ammar Sawan 40 (centre) with his wife and two of his four children in Amman, Jordan, yesterday.The family took their first step towards resettlement in the United States three months ago, submitting to an initialround of security screenings. His dreams of a better life were crushed when President Donald Trump issued an indefinite ban on displaced Syrians enteringthe United States.


The fallout grew yesterday from President Donald Trump's immigration crackdown as United States legal permanent residents and visa-holders from seven Muslim-majority countries who had left the United States found that they could not return for 90 days.

It was a period of limbo for an unknown number of non-American citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen now barred, from the country, where they were studying or had lived, perhaps for years.

A federal law enforcement official who confirmed the temporary ban said that there was an exemption for foreigners whose entry is in the US national interest. It was not immediately clear how that exemption might be applied.

Those already in the US with a visa or green card will be allowed to stay, according to the official, who wasn't authorised to publicly discuss the details of how Trump's order was being put in place and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Customs and Border Protection was notifying airlines about passengers whose visas had been cancelled or legal residents scheduled to fly back to the US. Airlines were being told to keep them off those flights.

Trump's order barred all refugees from entering the US for four months, and indefinitely halted any from Syria. He said the ban was needed to keep out "radical Islamic terrorists".

The next group of refugees was due to arrive in the US tomorrow, but the official said that they would not be allowed into the country.

The president's order immediately suspended for four months a programme that last year resettled in the US roughly 85,000 people displaced by war, political oppression, hunger, and religious prejudice.