Lexingtonians concerned about the latest travel ban issued by President Donald Trump gathered Saturday to hear an update on who it affects.
The Kentucky chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, hosted the workshop Saturday at Masjid Bilal on Russell Cave Road.
Trump issued a proclamation earlier this week banning U.S. entry to most citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea, as well as certain government officials and their families from Venezuela. People from Iraq face additional screenings before coming into the country. The indefinite restrictions take effect Oct. 18 and replace Trump’s temporary ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries.
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CAIR Kentucky board chairwoman Waheedah Muhammad said Saturday that the inclusion of Venezuela and North Korea in the new proclamation is a “red herring” to divert attention from that.
Immigration attorney Heather Hadi told the 20 or so attendees at the workshop that people who are here from countries covered by the ban should avoid traveling outside the U.S. for now, regardless of their immigration status.
“If you are already here, park it here,” she said.
And Hadi said anyone who is here from another country with expired paperwork, whether they are from one of the countries on the list or not, is in danger of being picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“They’re scrutinizing who’s out of status a lot more harshly than they did under Obama,” she said.
CAIR plans to hold a rally in cooperation with other organizations at 10 a.m. Oct. 7 to address what it calls “Muslim Ban 3.0.” The rally will be outside the Fayette County courthouses.
“Our main purpose is to voice our opposition to the travel ban,” said Omar Ghani, who is serving as executive director of the organization. “We hope that local leaders and representatives can hear our message and support it.”