January 29, 2017 at 10:43 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Trump travel ban sparks global outrage

gaslighting, gay news, Washington Blade

President Donald Trump‘s executive order that bans refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. has sparked outrage around the world. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

President Trump’s executive order that bans refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. has sparked widespread outrage around the world.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson are among the European leaders who have criticized the executive order.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday posted a picture onto his social media pages that shows him speaking to Syrian girl who had just arrived in the country.

“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith,” he said in English and French, using the hashtags #WelcomeToCanada and #BienvenueAuCanada. “Diversity is our strength.”

Trump’s executive order indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., describing them as “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

It suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. The executive order also bans the issuance of visas to people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya for three months.

The executive order notes the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. None of the 19 men who carried out the attacks were from the seven countries in Trump’s directive.

More than 100 people with valid visas who were traveling to the U.S. when Trump signed his executive order were detained once they arrived. Some of those who were taken into custody had green cards that give them permanent U.S. residency.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the executive order. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly on Saturday ruled those who were in custody could not be deported from the country.

Reuters on Saturday reported the Iranian government plans to prevent U.S. citizens from visiting the country in response to Trump’s executive order. Rudaw, a Kurdish newspaper, said Shiite clerics are pressuring Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to expel Americans from the country.

Geert Wilders, the openly gay leader of the far-right Dutch Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, is among those who have applauded Trump.

British Prime Minister Theresa May met with Trump at the White House on Friday before he signed the executive order. The BBC reported May did not condemn it when reporters asked her about it during a press conference in Turkey.

The Toronto-based Iranian Queer Organization, which advocates for LGBT Iranians, told the Washington Blade there are LGBT refugees in Turkey who were planning to resettle in the U.S. this year. Ahmad, a man from the Syrian city of Aleppo with whom the Blade spoke last month, arrived in Istanbul in 2015.

Syrian refugee: Executive orders ‘left a bitter taste in my mouth’

Ahmed “Danny” Ramadan, a gay Syrian man who received refugee status in Canada in 2014, told the Blade on Sunday from the city of Vancouver that he received a multiple-entry visa from the U.S. on Jan. 25.

Ramadan said he was going to vacation in Las Vegas. He also told the Blade he was planning to travel throughout the U.S. to promote his new book, “The Clothesline Swing,” which is a fictional story about two gay Syrian refugees who resettle in Canada.

Ahmed "Danny" Ramadan, Lebanon, gay news, Washington Blade

Ahmed “Danny” Ramadan (Photo courtesy Ramadan)

Ramadan pointed to the Canadian government that said the Trump administration has assured it “folks like me are going to be accepted on the borders.” He told the Blade, however, the “whole situation has left a bitter taste in my mouth.”

“I have the privilege of a government that cares for me and supports me against this kind of discrimination,” said Ramadan.

Trump ‘is going to start a war’

Trump on Jan. 25 issued two additional executive orders that spur the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and will cut federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” that protect undocumented immigrants. These mandates sparked widespread outrage in the U.S. and across Latin America.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cancelled his meeting with Trump that was scheduled to take place at the White House on Tuesday. Other heads of state and government officials who gathered at the annual Community of Latin America and Caribbean States summit in the Dominican Republic last week also condemned the executive order.

La Nota, a Guatemalan newspaper, on Sunday ran a full-page ad that said, “Now is the time to act in support of migrants.” Guatemala City residents with whom the Blade has spoken have also criticized Trump’s executive order.

“[Trump] is going to start a war,” a taxi driver told this reporter on Saturday as he drove from Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airport to the city’s Historic Center.

Editor’s note: Michael K. Lavers will be reporting from Guatemala through Friday.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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