Trump Travel Ban

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An executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries has caused a global uproar. The Arizona chapter of the ACLU was at Sky Harbor Airport to help those impacted by the ban. Alessandra Soler, the executive director of the organization, will tell us more about the ban and efforts to help those impacted by it.


TED SIMONS: AS WE MENTIONED EARLIER, THERE WERE PROTESTS OVER THE WEEKEND AFTER DONALD TRUMP PLACED A BAN ON SEVEN PREDOMINANTLY MUSLIM COUNTRIES. JOIINING UD NOW IS ALESSANDRA SOLER WE HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE ACLU. THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ON CURTAILING IMMIGRATION. YOUR THOUGHTS?

ALESSANDRA SOLER: WE THINK IT'S IMMORAL. WE THINK IT'S DISCRIMINATORY. IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL. WE ARE A NATION FOUNDED UPON WELCOMING STRANGERS WHO ARE IN NEED. WE THINK THIS BAN IS COMPLETELY COUNTER TO THAT. IT'S CONTRARY TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS. IT EMBOLDENS ISIS TO ALREADY CRITICIZE US. IT EMBOLDENS THEM TO CRITICIZE US FOR TURNING ISLAM -- ATTACKING ISLAM.

TED SIMONS: WE HEARD EARLIER IN THE PROGRAM FOR ANDREW BIGGS, THERE IS PRECEDENCE FOR THIS. PRESIDENT OBAMA RESTRICTED THE USE OF VISA WAIVER PROGRAMS FROM THE SAME SEVEN COUNTRIES. HE SAYS THERE'S PRECEDENCE. IS HE RIGHT?

ALESSANDRA SOLER: CERTAINLY THE PRESIDENT HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DECIDE WHO ENTERS THE COUNTRY. THE CURRENT ORDER, THE WAY IT'S BEING HANDLED, THERE IS NO PRECEDENCE. HE'S GIVING PREFERENCE TO CHRISTIANS OVER MUSLIMS. IT'S LEADING TO A LOT OF QUESTIONS. EVEN PEOPLE WHO WERE GREEN CARD HOLDERS WERE DETAINED AT AIRPORTS. IT'S RAISED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF CONCERN AND QUESTIONS AND OPPOSITION BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

TED SIMONS: LET'S GET DEFINITIONS AND FACTS HERE. WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE AFFECTED, ALREADY IN THE COUNTRY?

ALESSANDRA SOLER: THIS PEOPLE GIVEN AND GRANTED STATUS TO BE HERE, VISA HOLDERS, THEY ARE GOING TO BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN HERE. LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS FROM THE SEVEN COUNTRIES WILL BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN HERE. THE QUESTION NOW BECOMES, WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS OF APPLYING? ALL OF THOSE APPLICATIONS WERE SUSPENDED UNDER THE EXECUTIVE ORDER. NOW THOSE PEOPLE, WE'LL SEEK RELIEF ON THEIR BEHALF. WE BELIEVE THEY ARE UNFAIRLY TARGETED.

TED SIMONS: WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM? IF THEY ARE IN THE COUNTRY TEMPORARILY, ARE THEY DETAINED? DO THEY NOT MOVE?

ALESSANDRA SOLER: PEOPLE ENTERING INTO THE UNITED STATES, OBVIOUSLY, THOSE PEOPLE ARE BEING DETAINED. SOME PEOPLE ARE DETAINED AT AIRPORTS UNTIL THEIR STATUS IS BEING CONFIRMED. THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE PENDING APPLICATIONS, THE APPLICATIONS ARE PUT ON HOLD. I THINK THIS IS PART OF THE CONCERN.

TED SIMONS: CAN THOSE WHO ARE AFFECTED, THEY ARE IN THE COUNTRY ALREADY, CAN THEY TRAVEL FROM ONE UNITED STATES CITY AIRPORT TO ANOTHER UNITED STATES CITY AIRPORT?

ALESSANDRA SOLER: IF THEY ARE TRAVELING WITHIN THE UNITED STATES THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE PROBLEMS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT EXITING THE COUNTRY.

TED SIMONS: ONCE THEY EXIT, THEIR TROUBLES BEGIN. SYRIAN REFUGEES LEAVE THE COUNTRY, THEY CAN'T COME BACK.

ALESSANDRA SOLER: NO, AND THAT'S WHAT'S SO TRAGIC ABOUT THE BAN. THESE ARE FAMILIES AND CHILDREN FLEEING A WAR TORN COUNTRY. WE ARE TELLING THEM THAT THEY ARE NOT WELCOME HERE, CONTRARY TO THE TRADITIONS WE HAVE UPHELD FOR HUNDRED OF YEAR.

TED SIMONS: THE OTHER SIX COUNTRIES, IF THEY LEAVE, THEY CAN'T RETURN FOR 120 DAYS?

ALESSANDRA SOLER: EXACTLY. THE BAN IS GOING TO BE 120 DAY BAN. IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER THE PRESIDENT SAID HE'S CONSIDERING -- CAN EXTEND IT AS NECESSARY.

TED SIMONS: THE FEDERAL COURTS HAVE RULED THAT BASICALLY PROHIBITED DEPORTATIONS AND DETAINED FOLKS MUST HAVE ACCESS TO LAWYERS. WE HAVE HEARD REPORTS THAT THEY HAVE BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO LAWYERS. AM I SEEING A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS HERE? THE EXECUTIVE IS DOING THINGS JUDICIARY IS SAYING DON'T DO.

ALESSANDRA SOLER: WITHOUT A DOUBT. WE HAVE CONCERNS. THERE ARE FIVE LAWSUITS THE ACLU IS HANDLING TWO OF THOSE. THERE ARE CONCERNS THAT THE STATES HAVE CUSTOM AND BORDER OFFICERS NOT COMPLYING WITH THE ORDER. THE DEPARTMENTS OF HOMELAND SECURITY ARE UNCLEAR. THEY'LL CONTINUE ON THE ONE HAND TO ENFORCE THE ORDER AND ON THE OTHER HAND THEY'LL COMPLY WITH THE JUDICIAL ORDER. THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS THAT U.S. CITIZENS ARE BEING DETAINED. PERMANENT GREEN CARD HOLDERS, LEGAL RESIDENTS ARE BEING DETAINED. THEY ARE BEING DENIED ACCESS TO LAWYERS. WE ARE TRYING IN ARIZONA TO HAVE TEAMS OF LAWYERS GOING TO THE AIRPORTS TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE WHO HAVE QUESTIONS, WE HAVE SOMEBODY THERE TO HELP THEM.
TED SIMONS: AND HERE IN ARIZONA THERE WAS A PROTEST OVER THE WEEKEND. LAST QUESTION, YOU WERE AT THE PROTEST. WHY?
ALESSANDRA SOLER: I WAS. I WAS THERE WITH A GROUP OF ATTORNEYS BECAUSE WE WANTED PEOPLE TO KNOW WE WERE THERE TO HELP, THE ORGANIZATION WAS THERE TO HELP. WE WANTED TO HEAR THEIR STORIES AND HEAR FROM INDIVIDUALS WHO FEEL THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS ARE BEING DENIED ENTRY FOR DISCRIMINATORY REASONS.

TED SIMONS: THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

TED SIMONS: HANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

TUESDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON. HEAR A MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE ON PRESIDENT TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN. AND WE'LL SEE HOW THE STATE'S RESERVOIRS ARE DOING AFTER RECENT HEAVY RAINS. THAT'S AT 5:30 AND 10:00, HERE ON "ARIZONA HORIZON." ¶ ¶ ¶

THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

Alessandra Soler, the executive director of Arizona Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

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