We are receiving reports that the Trump administration will institute travel restrictions for approximately ten countries by Sunday, when the travel ban for six majority Muslim countries is set to expire.
These reports come as the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in the Muslim and refugee ban case in a few weeks. This travel ban is flagrant racial profiling and anti-Muslim discrimination. It is unconstitutional.
Lest we fail to note the harsh ramifications of the ongoing United States refugee suspension:
Among the many others severely impacted by the suspension of the entire U.S. refugee program are the most marginalized refugees – LGBTI refugees in Africa, where most countries criminalize and persecute homosexuals, lesbians, bisexual, intersex and transgender people. These refugees do not have the protections or security guaranteed by UNHCR and the host countries, while their resettlement is pending. The ONLY countries LGBT refugees can flee to in Africa are countries that also criminalize their sexuality – and hence subscribe to the same State sanctioned persecution that the refugees have sought to escape. What has made this insecurity so much worse is the fact that their fellow heterosexual refugees, from war torn countries, also threaten LGBTI people.
Trump in his campaign said he intended to keep “bad people” out of America. Holding up and destroying the process for LGBTI people does not serve this quest. The LGBTI people who have already been assigned the USA and who have already gone through years of extreme vetting in their process are now being held up further and suffering greatly.
While we hope and pray SCOTUS will rule for what is right, many refugees are seeking other alternatives – such as restarting their resettlement process by trying to transfer to other embassies. The cruelty of this uncertainty and tremendous amount of back and forth has been a huge strain on those who are already living in emotional hell and torment.. What has resulted, in essence, is the United State’s failure to uphold its international commitments to these refugees. This is absolutely unconscionably inhumane. Surely America is better than this! Stay tuned… Melanie Nathan.