from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA – RELIGIOUS and church groups have condemned the decision by the United States (US) to expand a ban imposed on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries.
The American administration of President Donald Trump expanded the travel ban to include Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.
Countries included in this expansion are all majority non-white, and have significant Muslim populations.
Restrictions are an expansion of the third edition of the ban, issued in September 2017.
The Supreme Court has upheld the decision.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) criticised the move as unnecessary and discriminatory obstacle for individuals seeking entry into the US.
Marketa Lindt, AILA President, said previous bans have had devastating impacts, including unnecessary family separations, unfounded visa denials, lost career and educational opportunities.
“This ban does not protect Americans from any identified national security threat. Rather, it stifles our diversity, harms our economy, and weakens our commitment to equality before the law,” Lindt said.
Church World Service condemned the Trump administration’s expansion of the Muslim ban.
It denounced it as cruel and unnecessary.
Reverend John McCullough, President of Church World Service said three years ago, when Trump introduced his first Muslim and refugee ban, his organisation pledged to fight it at all costs.
“With the administration cruelly expanding its ban, we are as adamant about that fight as ever,” he said.
In January 2017, the Trump administration issued an executive order banning individuals from predominantly Muslim-majority countries and halted all refugee resettlement.
Thousands took to the streets and flooded airports where people from Muslim-majority countries were being detained.
– CAJ News