South Florida Muslim community reacts to new US travel ban

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - After Monday morning’s announcement of President Donald Trump’s new executive order on travel into the U.S., members of the Muslim community expressed their thoughts on the newly signed ban.

The reaction from members of the Muslim community have been mixed, as some say that despite the changes, the executive order is likely to pave the way to a Muslim ban. Others, however agree with the executive order if that means it will protect citizens from those who come into the U.S.

The communications director for CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told 7News he feels this is yet another way to frame a Muslim travel ban.

“We cannot forget the initial assignment that was given to former mayor Giuliani by Trump,” the director, who wished to remain unnamed, said. “‘I want you to make legal the Muslim ban.’ So, the intention of the president is again being manifested in this new order.”

Related: Trump signs new travel ban targeting those seeking new visas

The new executive order was signed on Monday morning and has excluded Iraq from the travel ban, which was a country that was previously included. The countries that remain banned from travel are Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.

“Cosmetic changes, putting a visa holder or no visa holder, clarifying this or clarifying that, does not take away the real intention that this is starting to implement a Muslim ban in this country,” said Wilfredo Ruiz with CAIR.

The revised travel ban specifies that the 90-day ban on people from the six countries does not apply to those who have valid visas or U.S. green cards.

The indefinite ban on refugees from Syria has also been reduced to a 120-day ban.

Nathan Willis, a student at Florida International University, explained why he supports the executive order. “Some people may call it cold-hearted and un-American, stuff like that, but at the end of the day, it’s all in an effort to keep us safe,” he said.

Ahmad Quadi, manager at Al Salam International Market located in Plantation, said he’s frustrated with the situation because his family is spread out across the Middle East.

He said his family is waiting for visas, but the travel ban will slow down the process. “We don’t see nothing change,” Quadi said. “It’s the same, and it’s getting worse. “It’s getting worse and worse. Your kids is there, you’re here, and half of the family is there and half are here.”

One of Quadi’s customers, who immigrated from Syria, said that there must be some kind of middle ground. “I think where the balance needs to be between people who are really immigrating here to be a great citizen and those who are immigrating here to be terrorists,” said customer Roy Assad.

The new travel ban is expected to go into effect March 16.

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