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C CAIR-FL In The News

Travel ban ruling doesn't just affect local Muslims

By , For WWSB MySuncoast, On 06 July 2018, Read Original
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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Five of the countries named in the ban are Muslim-majority, but the latest version of the ban also includes North Korea and Venezuela.


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Those with family in all seven countries feel similar: afraid they might not see their relatives back in the U.S.


Jennifer Fuenmayor and her sister were born in America because their mother immigrated from Venezuela, but they still have plenty of family in the South American country.

"I don't know what's going on, if they can come in anymore," says Yuleida Fuenmayor, whose mother and sisters are still in Venezuela.

The Fuenmayors stopped going back to Venezuela for visits following a kidnapping attempt when Jennifer was young. The only way they see family, is when they fly to the United States.

President Trump's travel ban, which was upheld Tuesday by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court vote, includes Venezuela in its seven listed countries, but only for government officials and their relatives. Fuenmayor hopes that doesn't change.

"It's sad because I miss them," says Jennifer. "My grandma is planning on coming for Christmas and stuff, and now I don't know how this is going to affect her."


SCOTUS ruled the president can ban the entry of aliens that could be detrimental to the interests of the U.S., and rejected the challenge of religious discrimination since five of the seven countries (Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Libya) are Muslim-majority.

"They ignored the president's own statements as to why he was signing the executive order," argues ACLU of Florida president Michael Barfield. "They did not give his statements much credibility."

The president of the Islamic Society of Sarasota-Bradenton Sharaz Hassan said in a phone call that some families in the congregation will likely be separated from relatives at home. On Facebook, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR in Tampa called the ruling "another shameful mark on our history."

"We will look back at this opinion years from now, and classify it the same way we did with Korematsu," says Barfield, referring to the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, another example, he says, of "xenophobia and racism."

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