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local backlash over trump's order to temporarily halt visas, start 'extreme vetting'

local backlash over trump's order to temporarily halt visas, start 'extreme vetting' News Article With The full text news. The Resource Link is down the post and you can View this News Article in the source page.



local backlash over trump's order to temporarily halt visas, start 'extreme vetting'

abdul “lucky” manan spent years working as an interpreter for u.s. special forces in afghanistan, helping military troops navigate the language, culture and “rules” of his homeland.

it was a dangerous job that e with the promise of a special visa, which took three years and landed him in san diego two months ago.

members of manan’s family were still waiting for their own promised visas, when president donald trump signed an executive order friday to block visas from specific from muslim-majority countries known for terrorist activities.

“i lost family and friends who were killed because of my job. had i known, i would never have taken the job,” said manan, 31. “now, i fear for my family more than ever.”

manan is part of a coalition of local civic leaders, national security experts and refugees that spoke out against trump’s policies on friday  at a news conference organized by the san diego chapter of truman national security project.

trump’s order signed friday blocks visa applications entirely from iraq, iran, libya, somalia, sudan and yemen until a new stepped up screening procedures are in place. the president said residents of countries excluded from the ban — afghanistan, pakistan, saudi arabia — would face “extreme vetting,” and dismissed concerns that his actions would inflame tensions in the muslim world.

manan is among roughly 500 immigrants — including other former military interpreters —  from afghanistan and iraq to resettle in san diego county in fiscal 2016, according to government data. he believes trump is undermining promises made to interpreters who risk their lives and their families lives.

steven miska, a retired colonel and iraq war veteran, said its crucial that interpreters, who work alongside members of the military in combat zones, get the visas promised to them and their families. their work, he said, is critical to the success of missions

“from a veteran’s perspective, this goes against the ethos of leaving no one behind,” said miska, who joined the local advocacy group on friday.

the coalition also includes  emblyman todd gloria, san diego city councilwoman georgette gomez, carslad city councilwoman cori schumacher and attorney omar p ons. the group lashed out at trump’s order as a threat to national security, trade and the founding principles of the country.

“president trump’s executive orders, presented under the deliberately misleading guise of ‘national security,’ are an ault on american pluralism and a failure to live up to the values that make our nation great,” said shawn vandiver, director of the san diego chapter. “moreover, they do nothing to enhance the security and safety of americans, instead introducing a number of unnecessary, redundant, and cruel bureaucratic hurdles to families at home and abroad who view our country as a beacon of hope.”

gloria said his office has been flooded with phone calls and emails from constituents who worried about what impact trump’s policies with have on immigrant families. among other things, he said he is working with immigrant families to ure them that it’s safe to send their children to public schools.

“we are doing everything we can to make sure schools are not places of immigration enforcement,” gloria said.

trump’s plan would dramatically disrupt immigration to the u.s., which has admitted more than 3.3 million refugees since 1975, and allowed more than 80,000 refugees in last year alone.

the president’s plan allows a narrow group of “religious minorities” to immigrate to the u.s. that includes christians fleeing largely muslim countries.

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