Trump faces tide of criticism, protests, legal challenges over travel bans

Reuters reports: U.S. President Donald Trump fought back on Sunday amid growing international criticism, outrage from civil rights activists and legal challenges over his abrupt order for a halt on arrivals of refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

He and senior aides defended the policy and one administration official said Friday’s order could be expanded to include more countries, even as border and customs officials struggled to put it into practice. Confusion persisted over details of implementation, in particular for green card holders who are legal residents of the United States.

In his most sweeping action since taking office on Jan. 20, Trump, a Republican, put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

In a Twitter message on Sunday, Trump said the country needed “strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW.”

“Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers. We cannot allow this horror to continue!” added Trump, who successfully tapped Americans’ fear of attacks during his election campaign and has presented the policy as a way to protect the country from the threat of Islamist militants.

His comment could fuel charges that the new policy singles out Muslims as it did not take into account the fact that the militant Islamic State group has targeted not just minorities in Syria and Iraq, but both Shiite and Sunni Muslims in areas under its rule.

Protests erupted for a second day in several U.S. cities and airports. [Continue reading…]

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