Around the World and the U.S., New Travel Ban Draws Anger, Applause and Shrugs


Different restrictions were imposed on each of the three additions, depending on the threat they were deemed to pose. For example, for Venezuela the ban applies only to visits by certain government officials and their families, while Somalis are barred from emigrating to the United States but not from visiting.

Chad, an Ally Against Militants, Asks, “Why Us?”

The addition of Chad to Mr. Trump’s travel ban took that country’s government by surprise and bewildered analysts of Central Africa.

With a mixed population of Muslims and Christians, Chad has been a longtime American ally in fighting Islamist militants in the region, including offshoots of Al Qaeda and Boko Haram, and its troops took part in a French-led effort to root out Islamist militants from parts of Mali in 2013.

In a statement, the government expressed “ incomprehension in the face of the official reasons for this decision, which contrasts with Chad’s constant efforts and commitments in the fight against terrorism.” It called on President Trump to rethink the decision, “which has seriously affected the image of Chad and the good relations maintained by the two countries.”

In a report on Chad last year, the State Department said that few Chadians join terrorist groups, and that the country had tightened its borders to impede the movements of militants, but that a financial crisis kept the country from consistently paying police and military salaries, which presented some risk.

Matthew Page, who was the State Department’s expert in the region until last year, said that the travel ban for Chad seemed to be “a knee-jerk move, rather than a carefully considered decision.”

Experts said there were many steps Chad could take in response that would have a negative impact on the United States, including reducing security protection for employees of the large American embassy. Also at stake are oil exploration plans from companies like Exxon Mobil.

“This is a very draconian move that could put Americans in harm’s way,” Mr. Page said. “There is no incentive to labeling Chadians soft on terrorism, which they definitely are not.”

Human rights activists also expressed outrage.

“This makes no sense at all, even from a Trumpian standpoint,” said Reed Brody, a lawyer for Human Rights Watch who has worked extensively in Chad.

Victims of a former Chadian president, Hissène Habré, who is accused of torturing and murdering opponents during his rule in the 1980s, regularly travel to the United States to collect humanitarian awards. “Think of all the courageous and dedicated activists who will now be barred from the U.S.,” Mr. Brody said. — DIONNE SEARCEY and JAIME YAYA BARRY

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Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, said she supported the inclusion of Venezuela in the new policy.

Credit
Chad Batka for The New York Times

Cheers From Trump Supporters

Supporters of the president’s national security agenda cheered the new policy on Monday. “I’m excited,” said Louis Murray, 52, who campaigned for the president in Boston as part of a group of Catholics for Trump. “I’m excited that the Department of Homeland Security and the Trump Administration has looked very hard at how to use extreme vetting to keep Americans safe.”

Mr. Murray said he viewed the administration’s broad travel policies as the best way to prevent attacks like the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, which was carried out by two beneficiaries of the asylum system. “When you’re talking about the movement of people across national borders, I don’t know how specific you want to be,” he said.

Conservative lawmakers also called the new travel ban a necessary public safety measure. “We are a compassionate nation,” Representative Lou Barletta, Republican of Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “However, our enemies continuously seek to use our generosity against us, and the president has a duty to protect the American people first.”

On Twitter, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican of Florida, supported the inclusion of Venezuela in the new policy, saying in Spanish that it was correct to block officials of the “corrupt Maduro regime” and their families from making shopping trips to the United States or patronizing Disney amusement parks. — CAITLIN DICKERSON

Dismay Among Somalis in Minnesota

Somali-Americans in the Cedar-Riverside area of Minneapolis processed the news of the travel ban as they went about their business in the rain on Monday, voicing wariness of an administration that has frightened them from the start and trying to learn more about the details of the ban.

Slma Osman, 29, said she had just put her three toddlers to bed Sunday evening when she heard about the travel ban on television, and the news made her cry. She emigrated from Somalia a year ago to join her husband, and the new ban seemed to scotch her dream of bringing her parents over to unite with her children.

“I feel lonely,” she said, walking to a bus stop on her way to work. “When my children grow up, they will feel the pain.”

Jamal Hassen, 23, a student in the Twin Cities who was born in Ethiopia to a Somali mother, said he worried about her. “Our moms are going to the mall by themselves, and get harassed because of their head scarves — especially after he got elected,” Mr. Hassen said. “It was calm before that.”

Mr. Hassen did not dispute President Trump’s claim that Somalia’s immigration officials do not adequately vet extremists. Some Somali-Americans from the Twin Cities have been recruited by Islamic extremist groups abroad, but Mr. Hassen said it was unfair that all Somalis must pay a price. “We are getting punished for what they did,” he said.

Kamaal Yusuf, 32, a taxi driver born in Somalia who emigrated as a teenager, heard about the travel ban in a coffee shop after driving his sons to day care. “I feel very sad,” he said. “America is supposed to welcome immigrants from all over the world. That’s the good I see in America. Now it’s messed up.”

The Somali minister of information, Abdirahman O. Osman, said in a statement that Somalia was grateful for American assistance and support in reducing the threat posed by terrorists, and that American policy should focus on the terrorists, not on ordinary Somalis.

“Somalis in the U.S. are making valuable contributions to the U.S. society, which is why our young people are hoping to visit one day to the U.S.,” Mr. Osman said. “Somalis are a peace-loving people, and it is terrorists who are damaging our good names.” — CHRISTINA CAPECCHI and KIMIKO de FREYTAS-TAMURA

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Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza of Venezuela lashed out at President Trump in a speech at the United Nations on Monday.

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Cia Pak/United Nations, via Associated Press

Venezuela Is Angered, but Émigrés Are Pleased

Venezuela’s foreign ministry blasted the travel ban on Monday as an “irrational decision” that “constituted a form of political and psychological terrorism,” and asserted that the United States was trying to “stigmatize our country using the pretext of the fight against terrorism.” Venezuela also said that it would consider retaliating.

But the travel ban, which would bar business and tourism visits to the United States by “certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members,” drew the opposite reaction among Venezuelans who have fled the country since the rise to power of Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013, and his ally Nicolas Maduro, the current president.

In fact, Alicia Reyes was nothing short of ecstatic about the new restrictions.

“They’re dogs, rats, the worst in the world,” Ms. Reyes, 53, said of Mr. Maduro and his party. She moved to Weston, in South Florida, from her native Caracas 18 months ago because of the erosion of social order there, which she blamed squarely on the government.

“The people in Venezuela are dying of hunger,” Ms. Reyes, who works in a pizza restaurant, added in Spanish. “We couldn’t stay there any longer. There is no future there.”

Mr. Trump has feuded with the Venezuelan leadership; last month, he alarmed officials in Caracas by talking about a “military option” to quell the chaos in the country. Jorge Arreaza, the Venezuelan foreign minister, lashed out at Mr. Trump in a speech at the United Nations on Monday.

Another Venezuelan émigré, Maru Vasquez, 37, who works behind the counter in the Pan Pa’ Ya bakery, said she supported the ban in general terms but was bothered by its inclusion of officials’ relatives.

“It’s a terrible generalization,” said Ms. Vasquez. “There must be people in those families who are innocent. It’s not fair to them.” — NICK MADIGAN, NICHOLAS CASEY and SOMINI SENGUPTA

Thwarted Reunion Plans For Iranian Families

In Los Angeles, the large Iranian diaspora centered on the Westwood neighborhood spent Monday morning puzzling over the ban’s potential impact. It had not yet sunk in with many people that the new decree would block most Iranians not only from emigrating to the United States, but also from visiting; only students and scholars would be allowed in.

“People haven’t paid attention yet to understand how this might change the life of their family,” said Farhad Bersharati, who owns a travel agency in Westwood. “If I was in the shoes of President Trump, I might do the same thing with the kind of people who are ruling my country now. But putting the people who are still there all together with the revolution is not fair.”

Many of the more than one million Iranian-Americans have relatives remaining in Iran. They will no longer be able to sponsor them for permanent residence.

Alex Helmi, who owns a Persian rug store in Westwood, questioned the purpose of the ban and said he was confident that the Supreme Court would rule fairly on it. “What is the goal here — is it propaganda, or stopping terrorism?” he said. “You have not found one Iranian person who has been connected with any terrorism in this country. This is a little bit odd.”

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Bahram Qasemi, called the expanded travel ban “inhumane, wrong and illogical.”

The new travel ban does not affect the status of anyone who is already in the United States legally, so people like Negi Kharazi who have immigrant visas can still get the green cards they have been waiting for. But now, Ms. Kharazi will not be able to bring Babak, her husband of five years, over from Iran.

“How can I be without my husband?” she said. “This is so mean. Our own government does not care, and the U.S. government does not care. We are disposable.” — JENNIFER MEDINA and THOMAS ERDBRINK

Hardships Seen Even for Permitted Students

It was not immediately clear what led to a special carve-out that permits Iranian students, but not most other Iranians, to continue to obtain visas. Iran sends more students to America than the other countries affected by the ban — 12,269 of them in the 2015-16 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education — and many are graduate students in scientific fields who also serve as teaching assistants.

Pedram Gharghabi, 31, a doctoral candidate and research assistant in electrical engineering at Mississippi State University, said on Monday that the ban would probably lead to hardships even for exempted students.

“My understanding is that our families will not be allowed to enter the United States for a visit,” Mr. Gharghabi said. Because many Iranian students’ visas do not permit the students to leave and come back, he said, “that means we may not meet our families for years.”

Amin Khalili, 22, who is studying for a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., learned of the new rules from a fellow student late Sunday night. “I think everyone here is in stress and uncertainty,” said Mr. Khalili, who is from Tehran. “Honestly, a lot of us stopped watching TV. It’s been very stressful for all of us.”

The new ban appears to keep out all students from Somalia, Syria and North Korea. But it appears to permit those from Chad, Libya, Venezuela and Yemen. — STEPHANIE SAUL

Weary Shrugs in War-Torn Nations

For citizens in some conflict zones, news of the latest travel ban was met with weary shrugs.

“How many times are we meant to condemn this man?” Mohamed Al Amad, a Yemeni journalist in Sana, said of President Trump. “Most Yemenis are too busy feeling bad about the American bombs that Saudi Arabia is dropping on them to think about Trump’s silly ban.”

In the Libyan city of Misurata, Ali Busitta, a municipal official, said that “the travel ban is wrong and it is offensive,” and added, “We understand that the terrorism in Libya looks scary, but you can’t just say that we are all bad.”

Most Libyans are occupied with the more pressing and often violent problems confronting their country, Mr. Busitta said. “Frankly, they are too distracted by what’s going on to care about this ban or that ban.” — NOUR YOUSSEF and DECLAN WALSH

Confusion and Anxiety Among New York Immigrants

Immigrant advocates scrambled on Monday to address questions from their communities.

Rama Issa-Ibrahim, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, said many people who have been petitioning to bring relatives to the United States are confused and anxious now.

“We don’t really know how this is going to unfold until Oct. 18, but since January, we’ve seen the chaos that these travel bans, the executive order, has brought to our community and to the country in general,” she said.

Yemeni-Americans in Brooklyn have been mobilizing since the executive order announcing the first travel ban was issued in January. But Rabyaah Althaibani, an activist who was involved in a Yemeni bodega strike across the city in February that was a protest of the original ban, said she felt worn down by yet another one. “I feel so helpless and fatigued,” she said on Monday.

Ms. Althaibani, 39, has not been able to bring in her Yemeni husband, Basheer Othman, who was a prominent liberal journalist in Yemen. The couple married in January 2016 in India, but they have been living apart ever since, with Mr. Othman waiting in Malaysia to receive a visa.

“I don’t know what it means for him, and it’s really scary,” Ms. Althaibani said through tears on Monday after speaking with him via Skype. “I’m in limbo, and it’s a hellish nightmare.” — LIZ ROBBINS

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