Local Residents, Officials React to Travel Ban

Local News

Thousands gathered the across the country this weekend to protest President Trump’s executive order which prevents residents of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, bans the admission of refugees for the next four months, and bans refugees fleeing Syria indefinitely.

Local residents at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport said they were baffled by the news.

“I don’t get it, I’m just kind of just bewildered by this whole thing,” Ithaca resident Dave Davies said.

“I was thinking it was crazy,” Ithaca resident Mia Spada said. “I was just really surprised. How could that happen so quickly? How could that happen without a full plan?”

This week a federal judge issued a nationwide stay to keep detainees from being deported. But some are worried that the order will have an adverse effect.
  
“It’s just going–just gives fuel and fodder to people who want fear to take over,” Davies said.
  
“I think at this point right now it’s hurting more than it’s helping,” Spada said. Spada also said she was specifically concerned about international college students getting back to school in time to start the semester.

“One of the reasons for radicalization is this isolation, being alienated, all over the world,” Imam at Islamic Association of the Finger Lakes Dr. M. Zaman Marwat said.

This as an attack on a Canadian mosque in Quebec City on Sunday left six people dead, and several others wounded. Officials are investigating it as a terrorist attack. Congressman Tom Reed said that fact that the attack happened proves that travel bans are necessary.
  
“What the President is doing is making sure that American citizens’ safety is first and foremost as we deal with this issue of refugees and folks that are coming from terroristic hotspots in the world.” Rep. Reed said.

Members of the Islamic Association of the Finger Lakes said they’ve received an outpouring of support from the community, which gives them hope for the future.

“Letters, and emails and words that we have received, they are encouraging,” Dr. Najeeb Rehman said. “That gives us strength, you know, to move forward and that there are people who are going to stand with us and have their voices heard along with us.”

Several lawsuits have been filed in response to the executive order. President Trump has defended the order, saying “this is not about religion…this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”
 

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