Sunday, January 29, 2017

US hints at extending visa ban to Pakistan


"[W]e chose those seven countries is those were the seven countries that both the Congress and the Obama administration identified as being the seven countries that were most identifiable with dangerous terrorism taking place in their country."

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: The Express Tribune
By Webdesk | January 29, 2017

A day after US President Donald Trump ordered no-visa policy for seven Muslim states, a White House official hinted that the ban could be extended to other countries, including Pakistan.

“You can point to other countries that have similar problems like Pakistan and others – perhaps we need to take it further,” White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told CBS News.

“But for now, immediate steps, pulling the Band-Aid off, is to do further vetting for people traveling in and out of those countries.”

In the most sweeping use of his presidential powers since taking office a week ago, Trump signed an executive order on Friday to pause the entry of travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for at least 90 days.

The travel curbs began immediately, causing confusion for would-be travellers with passports from the seven countries.

Defending the US president’s widely denounced order, Priebus said: “This is not a Muslim ban.”

He said Trump has solely identified countries where terrorism is taking place and could lead to danger in the US.

“All this is identifying the seven countries – and the reason we chose those seven countries is those were the seven countries that both the Congress and the Obama administration identified as being the seven countries that were most identifiable with dangerous terrorism taking place in their country.”

The move precipitated large protests across major airports nationwide. The ensuing mobilisation against the order could herald a protracted battle shaping up between migrant advocates and the Trump administration.

While a federal judge has blocked part of the temporary immigration ban, the issue may end up before Supreme Court, which has not ruled on a similar issue since the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.



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