To start with, the United States is bound by the UN Refugee Convention (an international treaty on refugees) which has been ratified by the Senate in accord with the U.S. Constitution as the “supreme law of the land,” as well as our asylum laws (with some limited exceptions), not to send anyone back to their county where they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. The protection of refugees and those fleeing persecution is one of the bedrocks of the United States, as those who founded our country in large part were refugees fleeing persecution in Europe for those same reasons.
Because of Trump’s Executive Order (E.O.) on Friday, two Christian Syrian refugee families, who had already been approved for resettlement in the U.S. were denied entry into the U.S. at Philadelphia and returned to Doha, Qatar on Saturday, January 28, 2017. I, as principal of The Fogle Law Firm, began my career and interest in Immigration Law representing asylum seekers—those fleeing persecution in their home countries. Over the years my firm has represented thousands of asylum seekers—including a large number from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Syria—five of the countries on the Trump ban. To see refugees, who have been determined to require protection from persecution in their home countries (in this case Christians, but it could be Muslims or anyone) and who have already been approved for resettlement, turned away from the US and prevented from rejoining their families as a result of Trump’s EO complete ban of Syrian refugees, sickens me to my stomach as a human rights lawyer, an American and a Christian.
Moreover, pertaining to the Trump visa ban, as has been pointed out by numerous news outlets, there have been no deadly terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by anyone from 7 countries covered in the ban. If the goal here is to protect the US from Muslim extremist terrorists, it is highly odd that none of the countries whose nationals perpetrated the 9/11 attacks—primarily Saudi Arabia—are included in the visa ban from Trump’s EO. All this simply makes no sense. US immigration law is clear that people living legally in the United States with visas or permanent resident cards, are here lawfully and can leave the US and return lawfully under our immigration laws. Trump’s ridiculous Executive Orders this past week, no doubt orchestrated by the anti-immigrant xenophobes whispering in his ear, are complete nonsense, based on misinformation and assumption, will ultimately harm our economy, bleed the taxpayer and line the pockets of corporations set to gain from government spending in this area.
The damage President Trump’s EOs are causing to thousands of families, students, universities, colleges and businesses is barely beginning to be seen and will be far greater in the next weeks and months as the stories of those affected are made known to the public. The expert immigration attorneys at The Fogle Law Firm will be closely monitoring the situation and are standing by to help anyone affected by Trump’s executive orders. More information will be forthcoming as situation progresses.