Area Muslims concerned about new travel ban

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NATIONAL — President Trump signed a new executive travel ban for six countries. Iraq was removed from the list, but Islamic centers in Urbana are still concerned about what it means for members.

The new order will not indefinitely block Syrian refugees. The original ban did. The 90-day ban will apply to Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen and will not take affect until next week.

“The first announcement was, ugh, bad. It was over-reaching. It was clearly, time was slim.”

Marwan Yousef had many concerns when President Trump drafted the first travel ban and they haven’t subsided.

“Yes, there are bad people. There are bad Muslim people and there are bad people, period.”

Yousef is a board member for the Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center.

“There must be a better way to, instead of banning a whole bunch of people for one or two or three or hundred even, and banning millions of people, of those hundreds, there must be a better way.”

President Trump signed the ban early Monday and, this time around, some changes were made. But, Yousef says people’s lives are at stake.

“Some of them are students. They don’t know whether they can come home and see their families and lots of them are citizens and those who are not are really worried.”

The new order says there will be a 90-day ban for six Muslim countries and a 120-day ban for refugees.

“I hope they can find a better way.”

Many members of the mosque have come to Yousef. They say they’re scared of the effects the ban could have. Yousef says all he can do is reassure them.

“Go about your life in the right way and don’t do anything stupid and hope for the best.”

The ban takes affect Thursday, March 16, at midnight. People with green cards or current, valid visas are exempt and not affected.

At an event following the signing, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the revised ban a “vital measure for strengthening our national security.” 

President Trump believes this ban will help keep people with terrorist affiliations out of the country. 

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