Abdallh Khadra's three-year-old daughter Muna has gone to bed thousands of miles away from him each and every night for the past three months. Her pink Barbie bed back household in North Carolina lays empty.
Khadra's fight to get Muna back took a desperate turn Friday when President Trump signed an executive order to instate an quick travel ban on refugees and folks traveling to the U.S. with visas from seven majority Muslim nations, which includes Syria, exactly where Muna was born.
“We don’t believe that we cannot get her,” Khadra said. “We have to get her.”
Khadra fled his dwelling nation of Syria right after speaking out against the Assad regime. He was vetted and cleared for U.S. entry in 2011 on a religious operate visa, and his family joined him in 2013.
On an October trip to see loved ones in Lebanon, Muna was the only member of his loved ones denied entry back to the U.S., he says, because of a visa snafu. She has been living with her grandmother ever since, but on Monday, he says he was told his daughter is now “ineligible” for U.S. entry.
“This is heartbreaking, we can not believe this occurred,” he said. “What will a 3-year-old youngster, what threat would she pose?”
This previous week alone, more than 800 refugees had been on their way to the U.S., according to an estimate from the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees. The executive order by President Trump on Friday changed anything in an instant.
“This policy in regard with my household -- it is breaking my family members, it’s breaking our hearts,” Khadra stated.
The order bars admission to the U.S. of all individuals with non-immigrant or immigrant visas from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. It also bars entry to all refugees from anyplace in the world for 120 days, and areas an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.
Abruptly, people's lives had been held in limbo. On Saturday, a senior Department of Homeland Safety official told ABC News that 375 travelers had been affected by the executive order at airports across the country.
Inside that group, 109 individuals were in transit and then denied entry to the U.S., 173 have been denied entry to the U.S. before boarding their flights in a foreign port, and 81 had been granted waivers due to the fact of their legal permanent resident or unique immigrant visa status.
Division of Homeland Security officials on Tuesday mentioned that 872 refugees will be permitted to enter the U.S. this week, while defending President Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees.
A number of travelers to the U.S., such as youngsters, were detained upon landing. Some on those incoming flights had been barred from entering the nation at all, like Fuad Sharef Suleman, who had risked his life operating with the U.S. government as a former subcontractor and had to return to Iraq despite receiving a visa to enter the country.
“I never know what to do. Mainly because I sold my property. I quit my job. My wife quit her job. And youngsters left college,” he said.
On Monday, President Trump fired acting U.S. Lawyer General Sally Yates for refusing to defend his immigration order just after she mentioned she was not convinced it was "lawful." In a statement, the White Residence said Yates "betrayed the Department of Justice" and was "weak on borders" and replaced her as acting lawyer basic with by Dana Boente, the U.S. Lawyer for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Abdallh Khadra was vetted. He has been living in the U.S. for six years, coming into the U.S. as an imam on a legal religious workers visa and later applying for political asylum. He mentioned he loves this nation but doesn’t think this policy will abate terror.
“This form of selection, it will only promote hate and worry and it will not resolve the challenge of extremists,” he said. “Just the other day, that Canadian white man, he entered the mosque in Quebec and killed … persons whilst they were praying … so we don’t say, ‘White males are terrorists.’ That is just foolish. That is quite unjust and quite unfair. This decision is incredibly discriminatory, extremely unjust, extremely inhumane.”
Khadra was amongst those protesting the ban in Raleigh, North Carolina, like thousands of other people around the country from New York, under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, to the gates of the White Home and at several important airports.
And in a uncommon move, just days into a new presidency, former President Obama spoke out with some harsh words for President Trump, saying he fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against men and women because of their faith or religion.
But there is also a powerful chorus of voices across the U.S. that are in support of the travel ban.
“Take care of our own initially, and then take care of others,” Lou Colon of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, told WNEP. “It’s just like ... when a plane goes into a crash mode, 1st you have to place on your mask to aid your youngster.”
“I assume we will need, initially and foremost, to retain our country secure,” Valery Brussat told ABC Milwaukee affiliate WISN 12 News.
But hours after issuing the executive order, the White House started to stroll back aspect of that sweeping edict, now saying green card holders – permanent legal residents -- will be allowed to re-enter the country.
White Home press secretary Sean Spicer defended the policy on Monday, telling reporters, “I'm sorry that some folks may perhaps have had to wait a little whilst, but I feel the president would considerably rather know that he's not placing a contact to someone who was killed since an individual was let into this nation to commit a terrorist act.”
The order grants some exceptions, providing priority to refugees from religious minorities, like Christians living in majority Muslim countries.
Nermeen Arastu, a clinical law professor and lawyer, stated she believes the mandate is unethical and unlawful.
“We've noticed post-9/11 that in the name of security our country has permitted itself to erode a lot of of its values,” Arastu said. “If the U.S. is now going to prioritize that they're going to take refugees that are Christian more than refugees that are Muslim that in and of itself is discriminating based on religion.”
But President Trump claimed the ban had absolutely nothing to do with religion, telling reporters, “It’s not a Muslim ban, but we’re entirely prepared and it’s been working out pretty nicely.”
The executive order unleashed a crush of bipartisan criticism, from Democratic lawmakers protesting on the steps of the Supreme Court Monday evening to Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham writing in a joint statement: “It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump's executive order was not appropriately vetted… Eventually, we worry this executive order will come to be a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism."
President Trump fired back at them on Twitter saying, “John McCain and Lindsey Graham... must concentrate their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border safety instead of often looking to start out Globe War III.”
The president later adding on Twitter, “If the ban was announced with a one particular week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country throughout that week. A lot of negative ‘dudes’ out there.”
Today, folks like Sufyan, who asked that his last name not be employed, remain caught in the crossfire of this debate. He worked as a translator for the U.S. Army in Iraq and worked with the American forces for seven years, and mentioned he risked his life each day for harmful assignments.
“I still keep in mind when my brother got kidnapped since they were considering that he was me,” he mentioned. “It is a risky place but it's a have to.”
He got out of Iraq applying a unique immigration through, which permitted him to get a green card. But for now, these like him who risks their lives to assist American forces or businesses would not be permitted into the U.S.
Sufyan now lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and three children. His youngest daughter is an American, born in the U.S. He stated the president’s executive order is tricky for him.
“Don't judge 95 percent of the fantastic persons the very same as 5 % bad men and women,” he stated.
For Khadra, his foremost concern is the safety of his little girl, still stranded half a globe away.
“For me personally, I want my daughter back,” he said.
ABC News' Ely Brown and Lauren Effron contributed to this report
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