U.S. Muslim Advocacy Group Warns Against Travel for Non-citizens

U.S. group issues emergency travel guidelines for Muslims, advises non-U.S. citizens, green card holders from seven affected countries to delay all international travel.

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A woman waiting for family to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, January 28, 2017.
A woman waiting for family to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, January 28, 2017. Credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Taly Krupkin
Taly Krupkin

Following reports of travelers being detained at U.S. airports, America’s largest civil rights group for Muslims began issuing emergency guidelines on Saturday to address growing concerns.

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The move by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order preventing the entry of travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen into the United States for at least 90 days.

The Texas chapter of CAIR issued the following statement on social media: “A complete analysis will take time, but we continue to hear from many of you, worried about what this means for your families and friends. What you need to know right now: If you are a non-citizen, even green card holders [lawful permanent residents], from one of the seven countries named above, and you are inside the U.S., please plan to delay all international travel for at least 90 days.”

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Other chapters issued similar guidelines, which were quickly distributed and shared on social media. Instructions included:

“Non-citizens from these [seven] countries who are presently in the U.S. should consult with an immigration attorney prior to any international travel. However, if you are a green card holder outside of the U.S. please reach out to an immigration attorney before you travel back to the U.S.

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“If you are a non-citizen from one of the seven countries named above, and you are outside of the U.S., you may face issues at the airport. Please keep looking for updates in the coming days to assess your travel options.

“If you are facing an emergency at the airport or are coming home in the coming days, please have our number on hand: (646) 665-7599. Whether you are a citizen or not, do not permit law enforcement to enter your home without a warrant. Even if they have a warrant, you should not speak to them without consulting with an attorney.”

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According to the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica, some 500,000 people in the United States could be affected by the ban. They could potentially be blocked from entering the country if they leave the United States for a vacation, to visit family or for a business trip or conference.

“About 25,000 citizens from the seven countries specified in Trump’s ban have been issued student or employment visas in the past three years, according to Department of Homeland Security reports,”’ wrote ProPublica. “On top of that, almost 500,000 people from the seven countries have received green cards in the past decade, allowing them to live and work in the United States indefinitely.”

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