What began as hateful rhetoric spewed against Muslims by an orange-frocked billionaire has now become reality. One week into office, President Trump signed an executive order banning citizens from seven primarily Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) from entering the United States for 90 days. The order also bars refugees from those countries for 120 days.
U.S. District Judge James Robart said, “No way, dude,” blocking the ban nationwide and drawing the wrath of The Donald’s twitter thumb. The Trump Administration appears poised to challenge the judge’s ruling all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Shamaila Malik, criminal and immigration lawyer at Irving-based Malik Law Firm, said the presidential decree is based on bias.
“None of those countries had terrorists come out of it,” she said, referring to several publications, including The Atlantic, Politifact, and NPR, that have reported zero terrorist attacks on American soil from citizens of those countries since 9/11. “Saudi Arabia isn’t on the list,” she said. “That’s probably the No. 1 country that should be on the list for it to even make sense.”
Whatever the political motivation for the order, Malik said she is now dealing with the fallout as dozens of immigrant families look to her for answers. The biggest question she fields from clients born outside the United States and legally living and working here is, “What’s going to happen to me?”
Trump recently described the implementation of chaotic travel bans as “very smooth.” Thousands of North Texas protesters would disagree. DFW Airport, like many major airports across the United States, swelled with thousands of community leaders and concerned residents wishing to show support and understanding for the plight of hundreds of stranded refugees and broken families.
“In the United States, people can seek asylum based on five grounds,” Malik said. “Two of those grounds are nationality and religion, so [Trump] is advocating discrimination based on the same grounds that we would otherwise offer protection for? That is ridiculous and really backwards.”