Tillerson visits Chad and gets an earful about US travel ban

Josh Lederman, Associated Press Updated 1:04 pm, Monday, March 12, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-4', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 4', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: JONATHAN ERNST, AP Image 1of/4 CaptionClose Image 1 of 4 Chad's President Idriss Deby welcomes U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the Presidential Palace in N'Djamena, Chad, Monday, March 12, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP) Chad's President Idriss Deby welcomes U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the Presidential Palace in N'Djamena, Chad, Monday, March 12, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP) Photo: JONATHAN ERNST, AP Image 2 of 4 Chad's President Idriss Deby welcomes U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the Presidential Palace in N'Djamena, Chad, Monday, March 12, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP) Chad's President Idriss Deby welcomes U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the Presidential Palace in N'Djamena, Chad, Monday, March 12, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP) Photo: JONATHAN ERNST, AP Image 3 of 4 U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives at N'Djamena International Airport in N'Djamena, Chad, Friday, March 12, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP) U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives at N'Djamena International Airport in N'Djamena, Chad, Friday, March 12, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP) Photo: JONATHAN ERNST, AP Image 4 of 4 Tillerson visits Chad and gets an earful about US travel ban 1 / 4 Back to Gallery N'DJAMENA, Chad (AP) — On an unlikely visit to dusty and desolate Chad, Secretary Continue Reading

Sen. Bob Corker: U.S. looking at North Korea travel ban after Ohio college student’s death

WASHINGTON – The United States could ban Americans from traveling to North Korea in light of the death of Ohio college student Otto Warmbier, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Tuesday.Appearing on MSNBC, Corker, R-Tenn., said the U.S. needs to re-examine its policies toward North Korea given the death of Warmbier, who had been held captive for 17 months by the Kim Jong Un regime. ► More: Tour group says no more Americans to North Korea after Warmbier's death The policy review includes U.S. travel to North Korea and the fact that Americans who go there sometimes get caught in a situation similar to that of Warmbier, Corker said.“Should there be a travel ban for U.S. citizens going there relative to this?” Corker said. “That's something we're looking at.”“We have got to figure out whether it's best to allow people to do that and then end up in a situation where we're doing everything we can as a nation to get them out,” he added.Warmbier died Monday in Ohio, just one week after he was returned home in a coma that may have started as much as a year ago.The college student was detained during a school trip to North Korea in 2015 and charged with anti-state activity. Warmbier disappeared after his sentencing to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster.Corker said Warmbier’s treatment by the North Koreans “is indicative of how they treat even their own citizens.” ► More: North Korean treatment of Western prisoners is bizarre, not always physically brutal Corker noted that three other Americans are still being held in North Korea and that the Trump administration is “doing everything they can to get them out.”Asked if sanctions against North Korea are the answer, Corker said, “We can do more, I suppose, but the only sanctions that matter are the ones coming from China…. They’ve got to step up Continue Reading

Roberts: Trump’s travel ban would have saved HOW MANY Americans?

Donald Trump says he was only trying to protect us from the “bad dudes” when he suspended refugee admissions and slapped a travel ban on people entering the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.No doubt there are a lot of bad dudes out there. In fact, lately, it seems as if they live in some of the most astonishing places.But before we start getting all paranoid and spotting Yemeni terrorists behind every bush, let’s consider how many "bad dudes" from the seven now-banned countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan) have carried out deadly terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.Not to mention all those refugee terrorists who must be killing Americans right and left to prompt Trump to take such drastic action.Well, according to a terrorism risk analysis from the libertarian Cato Institute, the chance of an American being murdered in a terrorist attack caused by a refugee is 1 in 3.64 billion a year. (The chance of being murdered by an immigrant here illegally? 1 in 10.9 billion.)And the chance of being murdered by a tourist on a B visa, which is the most common type of tourist visa?  1 in 3.9 million per year.Here's Trump again, asking people to get educated before they get outraged:He's right.  And in fact, the Cato Institute did just that when it comes to foreign threats on U.S. soil.Cato identified 154 foreign-born terrorists who killed 3,024 people in attacks on U.S. soil from 1975 through 2015. Ten were illegal immigrants, 54 were lawful permanent residents, 19 were students, 1 entered on a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, 20 were refugees, 4 were asylum seekers, 34 were here on tourist visas and 3 were from countries in which no visa is needed. The visas for nine others could not be determined.According to Cato's study, the murder rate by foreign-born terrorists has spiked only once in the 40 years studied: 2001, when 2,983 people were killed on 9/11. The second deadliest year was 2015, with Continue Reading

Do you feel safer after Trump’s travel ban order?

I am annoyed by today’s question. It shows the inbred bias of mass media and how it breeds further discontent in our current environment.The question implies a permanent, blanket travel ban. This only goes to further inflame those who are already predisposed to be against anything from the current administration.To understand, the executive order simply put into place a temporary restriction on travel from a list of Obama administration-derived countries that are predisposed to having an abundance of terrorists within their borders. The Trump administration believes a temporary restriction gives time to properly put into place a set of guidelines to both admission of foreigners and appropriate vetting of those seeking admission.I do feel we have been too lax in our previous guidelines for admission and time is indeed needed so we chart a new course. We do need new rules and regulations to insure the safety of both citizens and visitors to our wonderful country. Arie Klapholz Ocean PinesThere are many more than 50 ways we Americans permanently leave our loves each year. If variety is the spice of life, it’s the spice of death, too.Death’s scythe thins out approximately 2.6 million of us each year. Heart disease is Death’s preferred method, which he uses to remove 600,000-plus Americans.In the 15 years since 9/11, Death has claimed 139 Americans in terror attacks frequently referred to as Islamic. It’s not Death’s favorite.Our likelihood of perishing in a terrorist attack continues to be much lower than practically any other method of dying. Note: No American has been killed by terrorists who have entered our country as refugees.Americans are being betrayed by the siren song of propagandist Steve Bannon, the travel ban mastermind, who is causing pain to law-abiding immigrants and chaos in the world.And no, I don’t feel safer — because I’m not. George Timothy Mason Salisbury MORE OPINION: Helping refugees in Continue Reading

Trump’s travel ban is on the back burner in courts, but it’s still front burner for universities

When news broke of a U.S. travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, an engineering teaching assistant from Iran was in a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee classroom helping a student.His wife of eight years was in Iran with her parents — stuck on the other side of the world in a country affected by the ban. She had left Milwaukee in December to follow the rigorous but routine process for obtaining a student visa so she could join her husband in advancing her education at UWM, rather than living here on a visa for student spouses.While President Donald Trump's travel ban is on the back burner for now, tied up in federal courts, the issue remains front and center for universities and international students such as the Iranian couple at UWM, Mohammad and Shi. Now is when international students accept admissions offers from universities and put down deposits. Uncertainty surrounding any future travel ban, and uneasiness about whether the United States is still a welcoming place for international students, are topmost on their minds, according to national education experts. RELATED:  Milwaukee passes resolution opposing Trump travel ban RELATED:  Trump's refugee ban challenges faith leaders​ RELATED:  Milwaukee protesters decry immigration banMohammad and Shi — whose last names aren't being used for fear that a news interview could jeopardize future visas — spent nearly two months swept up in red tape and anxiety after the president issued his first travel ban in January. The couple feared the travel ban could keep them apart for the three years Mohammad still needed to finish his Ph.D. in engineering at UWM if neither could travel between the U.S. and Iran.Politicians are divided about the wisdom of the ban, but House Speaker Paul Ryan said last month that the revised travel ban — Continue Reading

Havana hotels and Cuban cigars? House panel votes to remove travel ban on Caribbean island of Cuba

You can almost taste the Cuban cigars.Havana could become legal once again as a congressional panel voted on Wednesday to remove a trade and travel ban on the Caribbean island.Agricultural Committee voted 25 to 20 to remove the ban, sparking a contentious debate as the legislation moves through Congress.Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas.US and Cuban interests.Cuba dates back to the Kennedy administration shortly after Fidel Castro seized control of the island nation in 1959.House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson told Reuters.Texas long-grain rice," Peterson said. "If we get these restrictions out of the way, I think we get a lot of that market back."Florida, where anti-Castro sentiment is high, politicians have denounced the vote as an appeasement to the despotic state.Republican Rep. Tom Rooney of Florida. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Trump travel ban 3 may shatter my family forever — and it’s not even needed

Despite what some may think, coming to the United States is far from easy. While I’m now teaching at Ohio State University, I was once a professor in my native Aleppo, Syria. Reluctantly, I fled my homeland after life became unbearable and I was tortured by the Assad regime. My wife, my children, and I faced a veritable gauntlet of screening procedures before we were granted asylum. My 19-year old son was forced to stay behind for an additional two years of screening, and was finally approved just last week. I know from personal experience that the U.S. visa vetting system is already very thorough — and that President Trump’s latest travel ban is not necessary to keep Americans safe.The main reason I’m speaking out is because the ban, if allowed to move forward, will have a tragic and personal impact on the lives of many Americans and those whom they love most. Yes, the ban is contrary to the traditional American values I’ve come to love. But its damage will go far beyond contradicting our values. Real people — wives, children, siblings and parents, who might otherwise find safety in the country that saved my life — will face separation and unspeakable harm if the ban is implemented. More: Trump travel ban: Third time's no charm More: Trump's move to end Iran nuclear deal makes America less safe I’ll tell you my story and the stories of two of my co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit aimed at stopping Trump’s third travel ban from taking effect, and you can decide whether this newest ban is moral, necessary or American in character.For my family, the ban is personal. When I was granted asylum, one member of my family — my eldest daughter Turkie — was left out. She was over 21 so she did not qualify. As soon as I became a legal permanent resident, I filed a petition to reunite Turkie with our family, and it is still pending. If the ban goes Continue Reading

Supreme Court removes travel ban case from calendar pending new review

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday removed President Trump's travel ban from its October calendar, an indication that it may have just gotten harder to challenge. But that won't stop opponents from trying.By adding and subtracting affected countries after a 90-day review, the ban against certain travelers from eight countries in three continents could strike federal judges as less discriminatory than Trump's first two versions, legal experts said.But by making the prohibitions indefinite rather than temporary and continuing to target mostly Muslim nations, the ban still provides plenty of fodder for the states, led by Hawaii, and immigration rights groups challenging it in court.What seems clear to both sides in the wake of Trump's unveiling of Travel Ban 3.0 Sunday is that the current Supreme Court case has been altered, perhaps fatally. What's left is for the justices to get new briefs from both sides by Oct. 5 before deciding its ultimate fate."The parties are directed to file letter briefs addressing whether, or to what extent, the proclamation issued on September 24, 2017, may render cases No. 16-1436 and 16-1540 moot," the court said in its order."I think the court should and will dismiss the case as moot." said Stephen Legomsky, professor emeritus at Washington University School of Law and a former top immigration lawyer at the Department of Homeland Security. "The new proclamation changes both the factual and the legal issues."Trump's first travel ban, issued in January, targeted seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. His second, issued in March, eliminated Iraq and allowed exceptions for legal permanent residents and those who already had visas. That didn't impress two federal appeals courts, but the Supreme Court in June allowed much of the ban to go into effect.The new version subtracts Sudan and adds Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. Chad is 53% Continue Reading

Fact check: Trump’s travel ban tweets twist facts

In the wake of another terrorist attack in Britain, President Trump fired off several tweets about the need for his court-blocked travel ban, contradicting statements from members of his own administration and distorting the facts in the process.Trump’s tweets came in the days after the June 3 terrorist attack in London, in which assailants drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then attacked people with knives. Seven people were killed.Trump has issued two orders that seek to limit visitors and refugees from several predominantly Muslim countries to the U.S., and both have, so far, been blocked by the courts.Trump’s first attempt came on Jan. 27 with an executive order that sought to impose a 90-day travel ban, with some exceptions, on the citizens of seven predominately Muslim countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The order also suspended the refugee program for 120 days, and indefinitely for Syrian refugees. However, the courts blocked that ban.The president regrouped and met with his legal team, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and others. On March 6, Trump formally took another crack at it, with a revised order that sought to impose a 90-day travel ban on the citizens of six countries (Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen) who do not have valid visas, and to suspend the refugee program for 120 days. But that, too, has been blocked in federal court. Trump has vowed to appeal that ruling all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. But now, it seems, he regrets that legal appeals were not exhausted on the first order.Trump’s wording suggests it was the Justice Department that made the decision to create a revised order. But it was ultimately Trump himself.On the day the revised order was issued, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that “rather than leave America’s security in limbo while the litigation dragged on … the president acted Continue Reading

Trump seeks quick Supreme Court review of ‘travel ban’

WASHINGTON – President Trump asked legal aides Monday to seek a quick Supreme Court review of what he calls his "travel ban" from six Muslim countries – one of a series of tweets that could well undercut his case before the justices.Suggesting he wants to expand travel restrictions in the wake of the weekend terrorist attack in London, Trump said: "The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court - & seek much tougher version!"He did not specify what a "tougher version" might entail.Trump's use of the term "ban" is in contrast to other administration officials who have said the White House is seeking travel restrictions rather than a blanket ban, which would be more vulnerable to legal challenge. In another tweet, Trump said the updated version of his initial travel order is "politically correct," which will be fodder for the ban's critics who have argued that Trump's real target all along had been Muslims who want to enter the United States.One of the attorneys involved in a lawsuit against the travel order, Neal Katyal, indicated he would use Trump's tweets against him in arguments before the Supreme Court. In a tweet of his own, Katyal it is "kinda odd" to have Trump "acting as our co-counsel. We don't need the help but will take it!"And attorney George Conway – husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway – tweeted that Trump's posts may make some people "feel better," but that won't help the travel order receive the necessary five votes on the Supreme Court, and that "is what actually matters. Sad."In another message, Trump took a swipe at the courts and said the U.S. needs to a better job of screening people coming into the country because of concern about terrorism: "In any event we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!"Late Monday night, Continue Reading