Local families turn to CAIR after travel ban is reinstated

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Supreme Court has handed President Trump a victory related to the latest version of his travel ban.

Restrictions will now be placed on citizens from eight nations, six of which are majority Muslim, even if they have personal relationships with someone in America. The court said the ban can go into effect while challenges continue to be heard in lower courts.

Two federal judges had blocked latest version of the ban in October, but those rulings are now set aside.

Now, families in Central Ohio are turning to CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Columbus for help as loved ones overseas have been blocked once again trying to enter the United States.

“A Syrian professor at OSU who wants to bring his daughter, no criminal history, nothing like that, but simply because she’s Syrian she cannot come,” said CAIR Columbus executive director Jennifer Nimer.

That’s just one of many local clients Nimer said they represent.

“These are people fleeing the worst imaginable conditions and then having the door slammed in their face,” she said.

Nimer said there are now no exceptions for relatives or family members in the travel ban.

“There are lots of Somali’s here. They’re all going to have their families barred for the most part,” she said. “We have clients from Libya who are trying to bring spouses and children, so there’s a lot of people who are going to be affected, no doubt about that.”

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said the latest version of the travel ban is “lawful and essential to protecting our homeland”. The Trump administration has said that blocking the full ban was causing “irreparable harm” because the policy is based on legitimate national security and foreign policy concerns.

Nimer said there’s no data to prove the travel ban will protect the U.S. from terrorist attacks.

“You can’t predict where terrorists are going to come from. DHS reports have shown that they come from well over 39 different countries. Some of them are born here, some of them are born outside. Judging based purely on nationality doesn’t accomplish anything because we just simply can’t predict who might be a terrorist threat,” she said. “However, there was no ruling yet on the merits of the ban itself, so it’s still possible that it can be overturned.”

The Supreme Court’s decision is not a final ruling, but suggests the justices might eventually approve the latest version of the travel ban.

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