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‘Where is this going to go?’ Local Muslims concerned over Trump’s latest travel ban

Faizan Syed (left) and Jim Hacking (right) discuss Trump's latest travel ban.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio
Faizan Syed (left) and Jim Hacking (right) discuss Trump's latest travel ban.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed enforcement of the latest version of President Trump's restriction on travel to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, with fewer restrictions on visitors from Sudan. New limits and restrictions were added on visitors and immigrants from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the situation and the potential effect of the travel ban in St. Louis. Joining him for the discussion were Faizan Syed, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in St. Louis and Jim Hacking, immigration attorney at the Hacking Law Practice.

When it comes to terminology about what to call the president’s executive orders, Hacking said “ban” is a more appropriate term to use, rather than “restrictions.”

“When you’re talking about a whole-sale prohibition on people from particular countries without any particularized analysis as to who they are or the merits of their case, it is absolutely appropriate to call it a ban,” Hacking said.

The first two versions of the ban caused an outpour of confusion and chaos at airports. Hacking said the latest version of the temporary ruling is more legally defensible since it is tailored and has more explanations about how it will be handled.

But Hacking said the latest ban still might violate U.S. law. He cited a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states the U.S. cannot discriminate against people based on their national origin.

He also cited a provision under the Equal Protection Clause that states that U.S. citizens have the right to sponsor a family member’s immigration to the U.S., no matter what country they’re from.

Syed also calls the executive order a ban and believes it is a “Muslim ban”. Since the ban was announced, many Muslims have expressed their concerns and are seeking advice.

“A lot of the concerns happening in the Muslim community … is that ‘where is this going to go? Is it just this? Is it going to expand further,’” Syed said.

He said some Muslims have cancelled their trips outside the U.S. to not risk being denied entry back into the country or potentially facing extra security searches.

CAIR is hosting a town hall meeting with a panel of legal experts, including Hacking, on Dec. 15 to help community members better understand the executive order.

“We’re trying to disseminate information and facts about this particular ban; how it actually impacts people so that way the community is better aware and knowledgeable about what’s happening,” Syed said.

Listen below for the full discussion: 


Related Event:

What: Town Hall: Impact of Muslim Ban

When: Dec. 15, 2017 at 8 p.m.

Where: Daar-Ul-Islam Masjid, Tafsheer Hall, 517 Wiedman Rd, Ballwin MO 63011

More information

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.
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