New Yorkers slam Trump Muslim travel ban’s partial return

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NEW YORK, June 30 (APP): Hundreds of people gathered in New York City’s Union Square on Thursday to protest against the partial return of US President Donald Trump’s travel ban which centered on citizens from six Muslim-majority countries.
“The use of national security as the rationale for implementing the
Muslim ban is quite comical, to say the least,” Murad Awadeh of the New York Immigration Coalition said, as the ban went into effect Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, the US State Department announced new criteria for visa
applicants from the six nations — Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. Their citizens
would be given an American visa only if they have a “close” family
or business ties there.
The State Department defines a close family member as a parent, child,
spouse, sibling, adult son or daughter, or son or daughter-in-law.
Business and professional ties are also accepted.
But the State Department said they must be “formal, documented and
formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the president’s executive order.
A grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, or a
fiance from the six countries do not qualify for a visa.
Officials said visas already issued will not be revoked.
The ban took effect on Thursday just days after the Supreme Court
partially restored Trump’s amended executive order.
The high court will hear arguments in the case this fall.
Thursday’s Union Square rally was organized by the coalition and other
advocacy groups.
Speakers at rally said the travel ban goes against American values, and
is not the answer to make the country safer.
The demonstration was one of many protests expected in response to the
ban.
“Donald Trump does not get to decide who is family or what is love,” New
York City protest organizers said in a statement on Facebook.
“It’s up to us now to fight back against this latest attack and stand up
for the values that truly make America great: opportunity and justice for all,” they added.
“The president is supposed to protect American families, not rip them
apart,” Shayan Modarres, a lawyer with the National Iranian American Council said in a statement.
The state of Hawaii has asked a federal judge for clarification
regarding the Supreme Court ruling, arguing that the administration has interpreted the court’s decision too narrowly.
Trump’s first travel ban caused much confusion in January with visa
holders being kept off flights or barred entry on arrival in the US.
Lower courts blocked that initial directive and, in March, the president
issued a revised order intended to overcome legal hurdles.
However, the revised order was also blocked by federal judges in the
states of Hawaii and Maryland and upheld by the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
The Supreme Court on Monday narrowed the scope of lower court rulings
and agreed to hear the administration’s appeal in these cases.