TEHRAN– An American Immigration Lawyer said US President Donald Trump’s travel ban is not going to make the country any safer because his list of banned countries does not include Saudi Arabia, which is a “big sponsor of radical ideologies and terrorism” around the world.
“The aim (of Trump’s Muslim ban) could be to appease the Trump supporters – the people who voted for him; It could be to show he is strong and he has power; It could be because of his ego. And the thing is it’s a Muslim ban, but then all the Muslim countries are not banned. So that is questionable,” Leila Mansouri, the DC chapter president of the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), told the Tasnim News Agency in a phone interview.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that imposes a 90-day entry ban for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia, blocks refugees from Syria indefinitely, and suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days. The move has sparked confusion and anger at major US airports.
She added that the countries which have a “business interest” in the United States are not banned because American officials give priority to their financial benefit and not the US national security.
“...the countries that have a business interest in the United States, they are not banned. So that’s why it’s not a fair ban; it’s not a logical ban and equally shows wherever the United States has business interests, they care more about their financial (benefits) than they give here about national security. The countries that were banned – the seven countries – not one citizen from those countries has ever committed a terrorist attack in the United States.”
Mansouri added Trump’s order claims that it protects American people from the threat of terrorism, but he has picked the wrong countries because Saudi Arabia, which is the main supporter of terrorism across the globe, has been excluded from his list.
“I cannot speak for outside the United States, but Trump ran his campaign on protecting America from terrorist attacks in the United States. This ban of his is not going to make us any safer because all of the reports show that Saudi Arabia is a big sponsor of radical ideologies and terrorism around the world -that’s number one. Number two is most of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, why are they not a part of this ban if he really cares about national security? Second of all, he did not consult with State Department or the Department of Homeland Security- the people who are experts and are dealing with this every day. You know a president is responsible for consulting with experts and thinking something thoroughly before implementing it immediately; I mean, we are having a crisis over here.”
The DC chapter president of the Iranian American Bar Association added that Saudi Arabia gives millions of dollars to lobbying groups in the United States so they have their interests protected there.
“That is definitive and cannot be changed…I believe the Emiratis and the Qataris do give plenty of money to lobbying groups here as well.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Mansouri said the IABA is working on a legal process to rapidly put an to the crisis which is affecting only immigrants in the country.
“We are working on that. You know, part of the things that came as the part of this order are unconstitutional. It is up to us to file a claim trying to close down this administration. You know the ultimate thing would be the impeachment of the president. I am not saying that I'm for that, but I’m saying that would be the highest level of reversing his policy. It is unconstitutional and we are going to fight it.”
Trump’s order will also cancel the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which once allowed repeat travelers to the United States to be able to forgo an in-person interview to renew their visa. Under the new order, these travelers will now have to have in-person interviews.