Omar, Tlaib Rage Over Potential Trump Travel Ban Expansion: 'Straight Up Racism'
Word that the Trump administration could expand its current travel ban brought cries of racism from anti-Trump progressive Democrats before anyone even announced which countries might be affected.
The White House is considering an expanded travel ban, according to The Associated Press.
The AP report said most of the nations added would likely be majority-Muslim countries, but did not name all of them.
According to CBS News, which described its anonymous source as a senior administration official, the ban could be expanded by seven countries, most of them majority-Muslim nations. CBS also did not name the countries.
Fox News reported that a document outlining the plan has been making the rounds in the White House, but with the affected nations’ names blacked out.
The current ban covers Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen as well as Venezuela and North Korea.
Under the policy, immigrant and non-immigrant visas are suspended for applicants from the affected countries, but there are exceptions for students and individuals with “significant contacts” in the U.S.
News that the ban could be expanded brought yelps of outrage from Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Pramila Jayapal of Washington.
Omar called the ban “madness” on Twitter.
What do 5 out of 7 of these countries have in common?
They are Muslim-majority countries the President already tried to ban.
We need to pass the #NoBanAct immediately to stop this madness. https://t.co/UxdV7SsnCU
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 10, 2020
Tlaib referred to the ban as “Straight up racism!”
No more waiting. Too many Muslims have been intentionally targeted, discriminated against, separated from their families and denied opportunities solely based on their faith. Straight up racism!
Pass #NoBanAct #RepealtheBan @MuslimAdvocates https://t.co/M47QECbGmD
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) January 10, 2020
According to Jayapal, any expansion of the ban would be “xenophobic.”
Different Muslim Ban—same xenophobic Administration.
An expanded Muslim Ban will worsen our relationships with countries around the world.
It won’t do anything to make our country safer. It will harm refugees, alienate our allies & give extremists propaganda for recruitment. https://t.co/qMaWQxt6oS
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 10, 2020
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts promised that if she’s elected, she’ll undo Trump’s travel ban.
Donald Trump is seemingly doubling down on his bigotry and xenophobia. Let’s be clear: I’ll reverse the Muslim Ban on my first day in office, and I won’t stop fighting against policies that scapegoat and hurt Muslim communities and families. https://t.co/3zKanMq6C1
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 10, 2020
Others pushed back, with one commentator noting that racism has nothing to do with faith.
Jihad-Reps Omar, Tlaib OUTRAGED over report White House plans to expand travel ban : ‘Straight up racism!: Actually, betches, it’s “Straight up national security!” And long overdue. #BacktheBan Oh, and Islam is not a race. https://t.co/qh57ig5tm5 pic.twitter.com/REh4eAyncx
— Pamela Geller (@PamelaGeller) January 11, 2020
White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley would neither confirm or deny that the list of nations on the travel ban was being expanded.
“The Travel Ban has been very successful in protecting our Country and raising the security baseline around the world,” Gidley said in a statement.
“While there are no new announcements at this time, common-sense and national security both dictate that if a country wants to fully participate in U.S. immigration programs, they should also comply with all security and counter-terrorism measures — because we do not want to import terrorism or any other national security threat into the United States.”
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