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Trump's Proposed Muslim Immigration Ban Faces Backlash

| by Sarah Zimmerman

President Donald Trump reportedly intends to announce plans to ban immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, a plan that is already facing backlash from legal experts and the U.N.

Trump is set to publicize a number of executive orders on Jan. 25, saying on Twitter that he had a "big day planned on national security."

One of the orders could include a temporary ban on all Muslim refugees entering the U.S., except those escaping religious persecution. The ban would span for several months until a more aggressive vetting process is established, according to Reuters.

Congressional aides also confirm that another order is expected to suspend visas for citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

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"From a legal standpoint, it would be exactly within his legal rights," said Stephen Legomsky, chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under the Obama administration. "But from a policy standpoint, it would be [a] terrible idea because there is such an urgent humanitarian need right now for refugees.”

According to The Independent, the U.N. has already publicized its criticism of the proposed plans, saying that a ban on refugees is anti-humanitarian.

"Any substantial delay in the relocation of refugees...would be highly concerning from a humanitarian perspective,” said Catherine Stubberfield, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. “These men, women and children can no longer afford to wait.”

Not only that, but the plan could also be unconstitutional, according to legal experts. If the ban is only for those from majority-Muslim countries, then that could be considered religious discrimination, meaning that detractors could file legal challenges.

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"His comments during the campaign and a number of people on his team focused very much on religion as the target," said Hiroshi Motomura, an immigration expert at the UCLA School of Law.

Republicans like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will likely welcome the ban once it's officially announced. According to Fox News, Cruz and Texas Rep. Ted Poe introduced a bill on Jan. 25 that would give governors the power to deny federal government resettlement efforts of refugees. 

When introducing the legislation, Cruz praised Trump for taking a tough stance on terrorism and said that his bill would be another step toward ensuring the protection of American citizens.

"Congress should empower states to protect their citizens," he said.

Sources: Reuters, Donald J. Trump/Twitter, The Independent, Fox News / Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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