This comes on the heels of President Trump’s directive on January 27th, which received widespread criticism and was halted by a federal appeals court. The Order puts a 90 day ban on travel from citizens from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Libya. The ban also halves the number of refugees to be allowed into the country to 50,000. The Executive Order will take effect on March 16th, 2017.
Jessica Stern, Executive Director, OutRight Action International commented on the ban saying,
“President Trump has again sought to institutionalize xenophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-refugee, and anti-immigrant policies, continually putting at risk those who most need safety and security. Of course, these policies are also homophobic and transphobic because LGBTI people belong to each of these groups.
If the White House thinks this travel ban will make Americans safer, that’s only because it ignored logic and facts. The way to make Americans safer is by demonstrating respect for people from every country. We categorically reject the notion that scapegoating 6 Muslim nations, refugees and asylum seekers in the name of so-called counter-terrorism makes Americans safer. This is discrimination by another name.
By closing the doors to LGBTIQ asylum seekers and refugees, Trump is effectively endorsing persecution and violence targeting this community and allowing some LGBTIQ people to die.
This ban could have life-changing impact on LGBTI activists who have turned to the United Nations as a port of last call when their own government fails them. The US government must ensure that human rights defenders traveling to UN meetings are not blocked by this heinous ban. If it comes to that, the US will be destroying the international system and violating the traditional American value of free speech.
Trump joins populist politicians in Europe and around the world in trying to pitch minorities against each other, even claiming to “protect” LGBTIQ people from Muslims. The LGBTIQ community does not want this “protection” and rejects any attempts to divide us from immigrants, Muslims, refugees and asylum seekers.”