In his first week as president of the United States, Donald Trump has instituted a four-month ban on refugees entering the United States and a ninety-day ban on travellers from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen, including holders of green cards, which allow foreigners to live and work in the US, who will not be allowed back in until they are rescreened. Hundreds of protestors gathered Saturday at airports in Dallas, Chicago, New York and elsewhere. Late Saturday a federal court judge said stranded travellers could stay in the country. The American Civil Liberties Union announced that it would help 100 to 200 people with valid visas or refugee status who found themselves detained in transit or at US airports.
Trump denied that the order is a “Muslim ban,” adding that the measures are long overdue: “We’re going to have a very, very strict ban and we’re going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years.”
Chaos erupted at airports as immigration and customs officials struggled to interpret the new rules. Some legal residents in the air were detained upon arrival. Thousands of refugees seeking entry were thrown into limbo. Some leaders of the US technology industry, a major employer of foreign workers, called the order immoral and un-American. Colleges warned their students that they should avoid international travel in case they might not be allowed to return to the country. France, Germany, and Britain all criticized the order. Britain said it would complain to the US if any of its citizens are affected. Iran condemned the order and vowed to retaliate. Of the seven countries on the list, Iran sends the most visitors to the US, about 35,000 per year.
Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that Canadians welcome those fleeing persecution, terror and war without regard to faith.