After Donald Trump’s executive order suspended immigration from predominately Muslim countries, an Iranian chemical engineer was detained after coming home to the United States from a gay cruise.
How horrible is that?
Maysam Sodagari is a legal permanent resident of the United States. An Iranian Native, he has worked for two U.S. companies since getting his doctorate from the University of Akron. Sodagari was enjoying an Atlantis cruise that traveled to Haiti and Cuba when he realized that because of Trump’s travel ban, he may not be able to return to his home.
On Saturday, he posted this:
When the ship docked Sunday morning, Sodagari was detained when others were allowed to leave the port.
About three hours after his first post, he was outside Terminal 18 with his bags. Sodagari posted a minute later, “I am free to go back home.”
Late Sunday afternoon, OUT Miami Foundation Executive Director Jamie Alejandro posted a picture with Sodagari and another friend from the gay bar Rumors in Wilton Manors.
Sodagari told reporters he was nervous during his detention but was treated well. “They were very friendly, very professional,” he said. “They explained all the processes, and why they’re doing this. And I understand. It’s their job.”
Many LGBTQ groups have publicly denounced Trump’s travel ban. “President Trump’s attacks on immigrants and refugees are a direct assault on America’s most fundamental values,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Donald Trump’s unjust and unconscionable executive orders make life more dangerous for countless LGBTQ people, and could equal a death sentence for those trying to escape violence and persecution from places such as Syria. No wall, no matter how high, can block America’s promise of liberty and justice for all.”
Trump’s order imposed a 90-day suspension of travel from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Trump, who maintained the action was to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” also imposed a religious test that will favor Christian immigrants over Muslims.
So if this isn’t a ban on Muslims, why the religious test?
Trump also cited that the ban was related to 9/11, however none of the hijackers came from any of the countries listed in the ban. They were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.
The courts have already begun to push back on this order.
A federal judge in New York granted an emergency stay for citizens of the countries included in the ban and rules they can’t be removed from the United States. A federal court in Washington issued a stay stopping travelers being detained there from being sent back to their home country. Federal judges in Boston ruled officials can’t detain a person on the basis of Trump’s executive order.
What can you do to fight this? You can join one of the many protests happening around the world or donate to the ACLU who is at the forefront of this fight. Over the weekend, they racked up $24.1 million donations to help aid their fight against Trump.
Now that is money well spent.