The New York Times, in a piece published over the weekend, contradicts the popular liberal mantra that President Donald Trump’s temporary travel and immigration ban is directed at Muslims.
The story, headlined “Where Immigrants From Banned Nations Live In the U.S.,” lists seven different regions of the country having significant populations from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.
Trump’s executive order places a 90-day pause in travel from these countries and a 120-day pause in refugee admissions. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly explained Monday the purpose of the order is it “allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system.”
He emphasized that it is “not a ban on Muslims,” a point Trump also made clear.
The New York Times piece reinforced the administration’s claim by noting there is a significant Iraqi Christian population in Southern California whose friends and relatives living in Iraq are covered by the order.
Chaldean Christians make up the vast majority of the approximately 28,000 Iraqi immigrants in the town of El Cajon, near San Diego.
“Many arrived during the Iraq War, and another wave came as ISIS persecuted Christians in Iraq,” The Times reported.
The community was not pleased with the Obama administration because of the preference it gave, in effect, to Muslim war refugees immigrating from Iraq, according to Noori Barka, who runs a Chaldean language news outlet.
They are hoping to fare better under Trump and, in fact, voted for him in significant numbers.
Nonetheless, Barka told The Times that he supports Trump’s temporary ban on visas and refugees. “I think it’s a good idea to stop the program and look at it more carefully,” he said.