The Latest: Somali refugee won’t be reunited with girl, 4

January 31, 2017
Protesters holds signs at San Francisco International Airport to denounce President Donald Trump's executive order that bars citizens of seven predominantly Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump, his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries and other immigration actions (all times local):

7:40 p.m.

A Minnesota mother who planned to bring her daughter to the U.S. this week after years apart has learned the girl won’t be making the trip after President Donald Trump suspended refugee arrivals from seven countries.

Samira Dahir came to the U.S. as a Somali refugee in 2013.

Dahir became pregnant with her daughter, Mushkaad, after being granted refugee status. She said she was given the choice of putting her resettlement on hold for several more years or leaving her daughter behind and trying to bring the girl to the U.S. later.

She left Mushkaad in Uganda with a friend. The now 4-year-old girl was supposed to arrive in Minnesota on Tuesday.

Dahir said Monday that she’s sad and feels like she doesn’t have any power. She begged Trump to change his executive order so she can see her daughter.


6:45 p.m.

An Iraqi man is bracing for a long absence from family in the United States after President Donald Trump suspended refugee arrivals and ordered that visas no longer be issued to Iraqis.

Luey Rabban said Monday from Baghdad that he was granted refugee status about eight months ago and was just waiting for a slot to join a brother and mother in the San Diego area and a sister in Michigan. The 47-year-old chef says he prepared meals for the U.S. military from 2003 to 2007 at the Baghdad airport and that a U.S. Army official got him started on his refugee application.

Rabban spoke by phone with his older brother in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon. He says he fears gangs in Iraq who kidnap for ransom.


5:55 p.m.

Lawyers working with travelers detained at New York’s Kennedy Airport because of President Donald Trump’s travel ban say at least 42 people who had been in custody there have been released.

But attorneys from the group NoBanJFK said that as of 4:30 p.m. Monday they still didn’t know the status of two detainees.

And they said up to nine people who arrived on a flight Monday morning were being held for questioning.

Trump signed an order Friday blocking citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

A judge barred the government from deporting travelers, but people still can be stopped from entering the country.

Lawyers say at least 19 of the detainees at Kennedy were U.S. residents.

The largest number of detainees were Iranian.


5:30 p.m.

A U.S. citizen from Yemen says he and his 12-year-old daughter are stuck in the African nation of Djibouti because of President Trump’s executive order.

Thirty-eight-year-old Ahmed Ali says he, his wife and two of his three daughters are all U.S. citizens. They live in Los Banos in Central California.

Ali says his third daughter was born in Yemen and the family has been trying to get her to the U.S. since 2011.

On Thursday her visa was approved and they were supposed to fly on Saturday — too late to make it before Trump’s order.

Ali says it’s too dangerous to return his daughter to Yemen and he’s not going to leave without her. The family’s San Francisco attorneys are working to get a waiver for the girl.

Without it, Ali says he doesn’t know what he’ll do.


4 p.m.

Many Trump voters across the U.S. say they are pleased with his executive order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries. And they say he’s doing exactly what he promised to do if elected.

Barbara Van Syckel of Sterling Heights, Michigan says Trump is “going to do what he says and says what he does.” The 66-year-old says “that’s a little frightening for some people.”

Some Trump backers say they might do things a little differently than the president, but their overall reaction is positive.

Jim Buterbaugh, the head of custodial work and maintenance at a public school in the western Montana town of White Hall, was frustrated that Trump’s moratorium did not include countries such as Saudi Arabia, where most of the Sept. 11 hijackers were from. The executive order also did not include the creation of safe zones for refugees, which he favors.


4 p.m.

Don’t talk about airport protests in Trump Country.

In the states that propelled Donald Trump to the White House, his fans couldn’t be much happier with his executive order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries.

Trump supporters say he promised to put America first during the campaign, and he’s doing it. That includes securing the nation’s borders and doing everything possible to prevent terrorists from entering the U.S.

In their view, Democrats and soft-hearted do-gooders just need to calm down. Trump is being Trump.

Judith Wilkenroh is a retired social-services worker from Frederick, Maryland. She says Trump is “just going ahead like a locomotive” and that she likes him more and more every time he does something.


1:45 p.m.

Some legal U.S. residents and visitors from the nations affected by the Trump administration’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries are wondering whether it is safe to leave the country.

Somali-born freelance journalist Ismail Einashe, who holds British citizenship, lives in New York. He says British officials gave assurances that returning won’t be a problem for someone like him who holds a British passport and a 10-year multiple-entry visa. But he’s not sure he believes them.

He says with all the confusion, he’s afraid if he leaves the U.S. he may not be able to get back in the country.

The 31-year-old Einashe arrived in New York earlier this month on a fellowship and is taking part in a graduate seminar at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University.


1:45 p.m.

Attorneys and federal judges are working to clear a path for some of those turned away at U.S. airports under the Trump administration’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

One was Sahar Algonaimi, a Syrian-born schoolteacher from Saudi Arabia, who arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Saturday on her way to Indiana to care for her elderly, cancer-stricken mother.

Although she had a visa and had visited the U.S. numerous times before, the 58-year-old woman was put on a plane back to Saudi Arabia after authorities persuaded her to give up her visa. An hour after she left, a judge blocked Trump’s order, an act her family’s attorney said would have allowed her to stay.


9:05 p.m.

The United Nations says it has received assurances from the United States that the Trump administration’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries will not affect U.N. diplomats and staff members from those countries.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday, “We have no confirmed cases where any U.N. staff member was affected by the new policies.” Earlier, he had said a handful of staff members were kept from boarding planes over the weekend.

Dujarric said the U.N. was in contact with U.S. authorities over the weekend “and has been assured” that diplomats with G-2 visas and U.N. staff with G-4 visas “are exempted from the executive order” and their travel will not be affected.

Dujarric reiterated that the U.N. “very much hopes that the measures put in place regarding refugees are temporary,” saying “the U.S. has been a critical partner of the United Nations organization ... in resettling refugees.”


6:50 p.m.

The head of the U.N. refugee agency estimates that some 20,000 people could have been resettled in the United States during President Donald Trump’s 120-day suspension on admitting refugees.

The office of U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says he is “deeply worried by the uncertainty” faced by thousands of refugees in the process of being resettled in the U.S.

UNHCR said in a statement Monday that it estimates that 800 refugees were set to travel this week alone, but have been barred from entry following Trump’s executive order signed Friday.

The Geneva-based agency says it came up with the estimate for a total of 20,000 people who might have been resettled during the 120-day suspension based on average monthly figures from the past 15 years.


6:35 p.m.

Hundreds of people are protesting in the British university town of Oxford against U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.

The protest on Monday night also targeted Conservative U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who many in the crowd felt did not react strongly or quickly

“This is what democracy looks like!” The crowd chanted. They carried signs reading “No to racism, no to Trump!”

As speakers vowed to press to get the government to revoke the state visit invitation to the American president, the crowd chanted: “Theresa May, hear us shout: Muslims in, sexists out!”


6:10 p.m.

The United Nations says it has received assurances that the Trump administration’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries will not affect U.N. staff members from those countries.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said a handful of U.N. staff members traveling on G-4 visas — which allow non-diplomats to work at U.N. headquarters in New York — were kept from boarding planes over the weekend.

But Dujarric said he was informed Monday that “all issues had been ironed out and we got the needed assurances from the U.S. Mission” that staff from the seven countries with valid G-4 visas can return to work at the United Nations.

Dujarric reiterated that the U.N. “very much hopes that the measures put in place regarding refugees are temporary,” saying “the U.S. has been a critical partner of the United Nations organization ... in resettling refugees.”


6 p.m.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson has registered his opposition to President Donald Trump’s travel ban in a blog post, promising to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee and urging the public to donate to worthy causes.

The founder of the Virgin empire said in his post Monday there were many reasons to be worried about the order, which bars people from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa from entering the United States and suspends refugee immigration for 120 days.

Branson says he applauds “the thousands who have taken to the streets and the airwaves in solidarity across the U.S.” and others donating their time “on behalf of those caught up in this mess.”

The company did not immediately disclose the size of the donations.


5:40 p.m.

A Somali refugee says more than 200 refugees with flights to the U.S. have been told they cannot travel because of President Donald Trump’s orders temporarily suspending entry by citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Suleiman Yusuf, a teacher, said Monday that the 200 left a refugee camp in eastern Kenya last week, but were told by the International Organization for Migration that their Monday flights were canceled “because of Trump’s orders.”

Yvonne Ndege, a spokeswoman for the United Nations refugee agency, says about 13,000 Somali refugees who had been interviewed and approved for resettlement by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services have been affected by the order.


4:45 p.m.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says he has been assured by American officials that “all British passport holders remain welcome” in the United States, even if they are also nationals of seven countries temporarily barred by President Donald Trump.

Johnson has told lawmakers in the House of Commons that Trump’s executive order “will make no difference to any British passport holder, irrespective of their country of birth or whether they hold another passport.”

Confusion has reigned about whether dual nationals are affected by the 90-day ban on citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya .

Johnson said the U.K. had told the Americans of “our anxiety about measures that discriminate on grounds of nationality.” He said “this is something that we do not support.”

Opposition lawmakers are demanding the government condemn the ban even more strongly and cancel a state visit to Britain by Trump planned for later this year.


4:40 p.m.

French and U.S. travelers at Paris’ largest airport Charles de Gaulle reacted with shock to President Donald Trump’s decision to ban citizens from a number of largely Muslim countries.

National carrier Air France announced 15 people from the countries listed in the executive order had been blocked before boarding their flight to the U.S.

Ross Anderson, a U.S. tourist heading back home to the Washington area, said that he was afraid he might probably witness firsthand the effects of Trump’s decision with “protests and maybe people being detained or blocked.”

Travelers at Charles-de-Gaulle’s 2E Terminal were mainly critical of the measure. French U.S.-bound tourist Bernadette Taglia-Zackarin called the decision with respect to members of targeted countries Iran and Iraq “extremely dangerous.”


3:15 p.m.

The foreign minister of Qatar says his country is against President Donald Trump’s blanket banning of refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani said in Serbia on Monday he hopes U.S. authorities will further assess the move and “we hope that they are going to do the right thing” about it.

Several of those stopped at U.S. airports since Friday are believed to have traveled on flights from Qatar.

The foreign minister says: “When it comes to be addressed in a Muslim framework, I think this is something we will stand against.”

The 90-day ban, imposed on Friday, affects travel to the United States by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.


2:45 p.m.

The president of the American University of Beirut has criticized President Donald Trump’s executive order to indefinitely bar refugees from Syria and keep individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

Fadlo Khuri, a dual Lebanese-American citizen, said in a statement released Monday that the AUB community has watched the fallout at America’s airports with “growing concern” in the last 72 hours.

The university is one of the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions in the Middle East.

Khuri says: “We find this action and its implications to be in conflict with the enduring values of liberty and justice for all, which the original framers of the US constitution fought to protect.”

Founded in 1866, AUB enrolls around 8,500 students from all over the world.


2:20 p.m.

Turkey’s national airline says it will reimburse passengers who were unable to fly to the United States due to the U.S. ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Turkish Airlines said Monday that customers who could not board their flights would be fully reimbursed and not charged any fines.

The carrier did not say how many Turkish Airlines passengers were affected by the ban.

A company official did not immediately respond to questions from the Associated Press.

The 90-day ban, issued by President Donald Trump on Friday, halts travel to the United States by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.


2:15 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is renewing her criticism of President Donald Trump’s order suspending entry to the U.S. for people from seven Muslim-majority countries and halting refugee admissions.

Merkel said Monday that “the necessary and determined fight against terrorism in no way justifies a general suspicion against people of a certain faith — in this case against people of Muslim faith — or people with a certain origin.”

She added that she believes the U.S. action also “contradicts the basic concept of international help for refugees and international cooperation.”

Merkel’s words echoed similar comments by her spokesman Sunday, the day after the German leader voiced her regret at the decision during a telephone with Trump.


1:55 p.m.

Pakistan’s interior minister says President Donald Trump’s action banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States will hurt “global unity against terrorism” and could backfire and “help terrorists achieve their goals.”

The minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, also said on Monday that the U.S. administration’s measure will “add to the miseries” for the victims of terrorism world over as Muslim countries were the ones most hit by terrorism.

Khan says linking terrorism with Islam is not justifiable since only a few hundred misguided people turn to militancy and defy the message of Islam — out of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims.


2:05 p.m.

An Iraqi lawmaker says the parliament’s decision calling for a “reciprocity measure” in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order is non-binding for the Iraqi government.

The deputy parliament speaker, Sheik Humam Hamoudi, says the vote approved in the Iraqi parliament on Monday was “a recommendation” and did not move as a “law.”

Hamoudi’s statement is echoed by Kirk Sowell, a political and legal analyst focused on Iraq and publisher of the newsletter “Inside Iraqi Politics.”

Sowell says that the Iraqi “parliament absolutely lacks the authority to originate legislation of any kind regulating anything the executive branch does.”


12:40 p.m.

The European Union has vowed it will not discriminate against refugees based on nationality, race or religion and will never choose for isolation and inequality.

EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said that the 28-nation bloc is carefully studying the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to impose a travel ban on refugees to see how much it will impact EU citizens.

Schinas also quoted from a Sunday interview of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in which he said: “We have to make choices about the world we want to live in. We must choose between isolationism, inequality and national egotism on the one hand. And openness, social equality and strength through solidarity on the other.”

In an interview with the German Die Welt, Juncker said that “it is by standing for opening, social equality and solidarity that Europe can credibly act on the world stage to find common forward looking solutions.”


12:15 p.m.

Doctors Without Borders says U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending entry for refugees from Syria into the United States is putting lives in danger.

The Paris-based advocacy group says Trump’s order “will effectively keep people trapped in war zones, directly endangering their lives.”

Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French-language acronym MSF, called Trump’s order “an inhumane act against people fleeing war zones.”

It called on the U.S. government to lift the ban, end the exclusion from specific countries, and to restart the resettlement of refugees.


12:10 p.m.

The U.S. Embassies in London and Berlin have advised people from the seven countries affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban not to seek a visa, or schedule an appointment — even if they are a dual nationals.

The statement posted on the London embassy’s website on Monday issued the guidance to “aliens from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.”

It says, “if you are a national, or dual national, of one of these countries, please do not schedule a visa appointment or pay any visa fees at this time.”

There has been widespread confusion about whether the ban applied to dual nationals.

The embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


11:55 a.m.

Two lawmakers say that the Iraqi parliament has approved a “reciprocity measure” after U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning citizens from Iraq and six other Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

The measure, adopted by lawmakers at a Monday session of parliament, is to apply to Americans entering Iraq.

Lawmakers Kamil al-Ghrairi and Mohammed Saadoun told The Associated Press that decision is binding for the government. Both say the decision was passed by a majority votes in favor but couldn’t offer specific numbers. No further details were available on the wording of the parliament decision.

It was also not immediately clear who the ban will apply to — American military personnel, non-government and aid workers, oil companies and other Americans doing business in Iraq.

It was also not known if and how the Iraqi measure would affect cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group in Mosul.

Trump’s order includes a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, and a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program.


11:20 a.m.

A spokesman for the German foreign ministry says “tens of thousands” of people are likely to be affected by the recent U.S. travel ban.

An executive order issued Friday by U.S. President Donald Trump temporarily restricts entry to America of people from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer says Germany is trying to understand the practical implications for its citizens who also hold a passport from one of the affected countries. He told reporters in Berlin on Monday that Germany hoped to receive further “clarity” from Washington in the coming hours.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had expressed regret Sunday about Trump’s decision, but refrained from condemning it.

Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Monday that Merkel intended to “work for a good German-American relationship.”


11:00 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office says that a state visit to Britain by U.S. President Donald Trump later this year will go ahead, despite increasing calls for it to be canceled over his temporary ban on residents of seven majority-Muslim countries entering the U.S.

Her office says “an invitation has been extended and accepted.”

No date has been announced for the state visit, which involves lavish pomp and ceremony, often with a stay at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.

An online petition on a government website has attracted more than 1 million signatures opposing the trip. Protests against the travel ban are planned Monday in London and other British cities.


10:50 a.m.

Iran’s senior vice president is calling President Trump’s executive order on travel and visa process ban “illegal, inhumane and against human rights.”

The official IRNA news agency Monday quotes Ishaq Jahangiri as saying the order should be reviewed at the international level.

Jahangiri says: “We will definitely take stance against this illegal, inhumane and anti-human-rights activity in international bodies. And once again (we) will review and explore American human rights in international bodies in order to let the world to know what a system they are facing.”

He did not elaborate.

The executive order suspended issuing visas for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for at least 90 days.


10:40 a.m.

The world’s largest body of Islamic nations has told The Associated Press that it has “grave concern” over U.S. President Donald Trump’s order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation issued a statement Monday to the AP warning that “such selective and discriminatory acts will only serve to embolden the radical narratives of extremists and will provide further fuel to the advocates of violence and terrorism.”

It called upon the U.S. to “reconsider this blanket statement and maintain its moral obligation to provide leadership and hope at a time of great uncertainty and unrest in the world.”

The 90-day ban, imposed Friday, affects travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. All are OIC members.


10:30 a.m.

Air France has blocked 15 passengers from Muslim countries from traveling to the U.S. because they would have been refused entry under President Donald Trump’s new immigration ban.

Air France said in a statement it was informed Saturday by the U.S. government of the new restrictions, and had no choice but to stop the passengers from boarding U.S.-bound flights.

An airline spokeswoman said Monday that the passengers were taken back to their point of departure or otherwise taken care of. She would not provide the passengers’ names, nationalities or other details.

The passengers were from seven Muslim-majority countries affected by the three-month immigration ban: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Update hourly