“Disgraceful”, “a travesty”, “racist”.
These were some of the words used to describe a measure signed off by US President Donald Trump that suspends immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, and indefinitely bans Syrians – including refugees – from entering the United States.
Closing off his first week in office, Trump signed the order on Friday at the Pentagon, saying the move would help protect Americans from “terrorist” attacks.
“Trump’s latest executive order is likely to hurt the people most in need: those fleeing violence and terrorism – and on Holocaust Remembrance Day, no less,” said Grace Meng, senior US researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The decision to drastically curtail the refugee programme will abandon tens of thousands to the risk of persecution or worse and cede American leadership on a vitally important issue.”
Following Trump’s signing, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a US Muslim advocacy and civil rights group, said it would file a “federal lawsuit on behalf of more than 20 individuals challenging the ‘Muslim ban'”.
“There is no evidence that refugees – the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation – are a threat to national security,” said Lena Masri, CAIR’s national litigation director. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”
The state department said the three-month ban in the directive applied to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen – all Muslim-majority nations.
“The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater and the US resettlement program is one of the most important in the world,” said the United Nations refugee agency and International Organization for Migration (IOM) in a joint statement.
Here is a collection of posts describing the order’s effect and decrying the move, which many have said in part fulfils Trump’s campaign promise to place a ban on Muslims entering the country.