The Trump Administration isn’t calling it a ban on Muslims, but a travel ban. However, semantics matter little to the thousands left stranded last weekend at airports worldwide. Affected travelers were either detained or turned away.
The hasty executive order, which temporarily denies entry of individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries into the U.S., was signed by the new commander-in-chief and took effect immediately.
On Monday night, Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce his order on immigration. The new president and supporters insist the order is valid and that the Justice Department must enforce it, because its text doesn’t explicitly target a particular faith.
Moreover, they say, he is merely making good on the campaign promise to suspend travel by those in certain Muslim countries until tighter security measures can be put in place. He said it is necessary to protect Americans from potential terrorists.
Also making good on his word to speak out as a private citizen, President Barack Obama said in a statement on Monday that he approved of the protests taking place against Trump’s actions. Obama said he believes “citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”
A federal judge in New York issued a temporary, nationwide stay on the order late Saturday night. Lawyers, pushed along by a growing group of protesters, spent the day trying to free immigrants who were traveling when Trump's order was released.
But the legality of Trump's order won't be completely clear until it faces more hearings in federal court, according to USA Today. Supporters of the plan say he is standing on firm legal ground.
Only one-third of Americans say the ban will make them safer, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos survey.