Return to Transcripts main page
Judge Blocks Deportation Of Banned Travelers; Stay Includes Valid Visa-Holders In U.S. & In Transit; Protests Across U.S. Airports Against Trump's Travel Ban; How Do Syrian Refugees Get Into The U.S.?; British PM May Does Not Agree With U.S. Travel Ban; Twitter Founder Visits Syrian Refugee. Aired 1-1:30a ET
Aired January 29, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us. "BREAKING NEWS" on CNN: A federal judge is putting on pause parts of Donald Trump's travel ban. She granted an emergency stay for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries who have already arrived in the U.S. and have valid visas. The stay also covers those who are currently in transit towards the U.S. What that means is those people who have arrived in the U.S. cannot be sent back to their country of origin for the moment. A U.S. homeland security official says that prior to the judge's emergency stay, the U.S. denied entry to at least 109 people. And abroad, nearly 200 people who have flights for the United States were told not to board their flights. All of these in less than a day since the president signed his executive order.
The American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU filed the lawsuits against the travel ban, and they released this statement. "This ruling preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off U.S. soil." There have been protested airports across the U.S. against Mr. Trump's executive action. Our Rachel Crane filed this report earlier from the John F. Kennedy Internal Airport in New York.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here at Terminal 4 at JFK, we know that 12 people were detained, we know that 2 of them Iraqi men, they were involved in a lawsuit that was filed today, both have been released. Also, over at Terminal 4, we know that about seven people were detained. We had the opportunity to speak to some of the family members of those who were detained. One, was a son of a 68-year-old woman from Yemen who was detained. She has diabetes. Her son was incredibly worried about her health and well-being. He was unclear if she had her medication. And he said he wasn't able to speak to her. Now, she was granted a green card, but yes, was detained.
Now, we spoke to another gentleman who was here on a student visa, getting a PhD in Biochemistry. His wife detained. She was -- been granted an F-2 visa. He told us that she was set to get back on the plane to go to Iran this evening. He says she doesn't feel safe in the United States then he probably, too, will return to Iran. But there has been an incredible protest here unfolding all day and all night. We've seen people that actually (INAUDIBLE) barrage that was behind us. And an incredibly protest, people making their voices heard despite the cold. We've seen children, we saw babies, people with homemade signs, even projectors projecting on the side of the wall, saying "refugees, we love you". Back to you.
VANIER: All right. Let me remind you now, what is in that travel ban that is going to be examined by the courts, and bars people of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. for three months. This map shows those countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. During that time period, federal authorities are directed to review their policies for bringing in refugees and immigrants. The order also suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until so-called "extreme vetting" procedures are put in place.
Meanwhile, Syrian refuges are barred indefinitely from entering the U.S. Also, people holding certain visas will now have to undergo in- person interviews in order to review those visas. And we're getting some clarification as to what will happen to those who are now covered by the emergency stay. One of the drafters of the motion to halt Mr. Trump's travel ban is telling CNN, "The judge's order is that those are the lawful visa or lawful green card no be removed from the U.S. It doesn't immediately order that they be released from detention."
We're joined now by Jonathan Turley, law professor at George Washington University. Jonathan, I want to look at the legal side of this with you, and examine where this may or may not conflict with American law and the American constitution, what do you think?
JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Well, first of all, the judge likely issued the stay, because people were going to be put into an (INAUDIBLE) situation where they'd be sent home. So often, judges will freeze the action of a case and say -- or stop, let's take a look at this before anyone has anything done to them, they won't be easy to reverse. So, the stay has to be considered separately from the merits in the sense ultimately --
VANIER: So, essentially, they decided to put the whole situation regarding immigrants and refugees on pause until such time as they could rule any merits of the case, is that what you're saying?
[01:05:02] TURLEY: Right. In order to get even a preliminary injunction, the ACLU is going to have to establish that they're likely to prevail upon the merits. That's a very tough standard because when President Trump is using here is a historic power by presidents. The president's power is at a zenith at the borders of the country. And unfortunately, our history is replete with examples of immigration laws that have singled-out particular countries or groups. These are not likely proudest moments in our history. It's Iran, and today being the Chinese New Year, many of them deal with the exclusion of Chinese individuals, in our -- in our country. Those laws were upheld and those actions by presidents were allowed. Even President Obama just last year argued to the Supreme Court that
courts should not be second-guessing a president's decision, decisions on immigration on national security. So, it will be a tough call to make, for courts to reverse a president who's saying for national security reasons, I want to halt any immigration -- or entry from these countries. Now, President Obama -- or I'm sorry, President Trump has made this a little more difficult for his lawyers by giving an interview and saying, if he wants to give priority or some type of favoritism towards Christians who have been discriminated against. That's certainly going to add an argument for the ACLU. But overall, presidents have been granted pretty wide authority in determining who can cross the border.
VANIER: On the ground, if I follow you, that it's an issue of security, correct?
TURLEY: It is, and courts generally don't second guess a president's decision in that regard. I happen to think that this executive order is a terrible move, and I believe it does contradict the values of our country. But that separates per court from the legal question of whether a president can do that. Now, it's also part to remember that this day reminds everyone that we are not a one-branch system. There are two other branches that can be heard on issues of this kind.
VANIER: The Department of Homeland Security is working out how to apply the stay, saying in part, "We are carefully monitoring the litigation. We will be analysing it with our counsel and we will certainly implement any appropriate orders accordingly." Earlier and today, the U.S. President responded to the controversy, that was before the stay was granted, however, and he stood behind his executive order, saying, "It's already successful."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: It's not a Muslim ban but (INAUDIBLE) affair is working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over, it's working out very nicely and we're going to have a very, very strict ban, and we're going to have extreme vetting which we should have had in this country for many years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Coming up after the break, we'll continue with our "BREAKING NEWS" out of the U.S. A judge has temporarily put a stop to part of President Donald Trump's travel ban. Stay with CNN for more on that.
[01:10:00] VANIER: We continue to follow our "BREAKING NEWS". Several U.S. federal courts are blocking parts of President Trump's travel ban. The ban has prompted protested airports across the U.S. this weekend. In New York, a judge has granted an emergency stay for some citizens of countries affected by the ban, and that is effective nationwide. The stay applies to people from those countries who have just arrived in the U.S. and as well as those who are currently in transit on their way to the U.S., all people with valid visas. Meanwhile, in Washington State, the federal court ruled that the U.S. government cannot send detained travelers back to their home countries for now. And the federal courts in Virginia had issued a temporary restraining order, and says that a group of permanent residents returning from trips abroad should have access to lawyers while they're being detained. This is at Dallas International Airport. On Friday, Mr. Trump signed an executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations for three months. Refugees are also barred from entering the U.S. for four months.
CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord is with us, a supporter of Donald Trump. Jeffrey, talk to me first about the efficiency arguments behind this law. The premise, not -- well, this executive order, the premise is that it's -- they are to protect Americans. My question, what does it actually do to protect U.S. citizens?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the idea, of course, is to make sure that nobody sneaks in under the guise of being a Syrian refugee. And as you know, Cyril, you're French, that is exactly what happened when 198 Syrian refugees came ashore on the Greek Island of Leros. And two of them were -- four of them, actually, I think that two of them wound up participating in the attack on Paris later that year. That's what your -- that's what this is designed for then.
VANIER: Jeffrey, it's demeaning the French example. Although, no one would call into the doubt the fact that there are threats on both Western Europe and the U.S. coming from, say, the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda groups. Seems to me, France and the U.S. are very different, and that the U.S. already has vetting procedures that were not the case for France and that there is an ocean between the Middle East and the U.S.
LORD: Well, oceans, sadly, which once protected is don't anymore. And as we all know in America, we had this attack in San Bernardino. The woman -- half of the -- of the team there of assassins, if you will, came in here on what they call a K-1 fiance visa. She was not vetted properly. There were apparently all kinds of things on her social media that indicated she was coming here to commit jihad. She was not checked out, she came in here and 14 people who went to an office Christmas Party in California are dead because of that. That's unacceptable. I mean, you know, that's the most basic rule of society, right? You have to protect your country.
VANIER: This -- what are the motivations and the general conflicts that is cited in this executive order are the 9/11 attacks. Now, CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen explains to us essentially that there is a misconception now that our view of security is tainted by the 9/11 attacks, but citizens of the U.S. and legal U.S. residents have carried out all deadly radical Islamist terrorist attacks in the U.S. since that date, so what does that executive order do for this threat?
LORD: Well, just because that's the case, it doesn't mean it can't happen. It did happen. It happened in France. I mean, the western world is as one here. The objective is anyone who's a westerner, so it can happen. And as I was saying earlier this evening --
VANIER: But again, people who went to France and carried out those attacks infiltrated a large flocks of migrants. That's not happening in the U.S. And that's not in any danger of happening in the U.S.
LORD: But Cyril, here's what happens, as I -- as I mentioned earlier tonight, the Bush administration did not check on these things in pre- 9/11, and they were castigated for not doing so, because 3,000 Americans plus wound up dead after 9/11. I am suggesting to you that the President of the United States, whomever that might be is going to be damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. If he does it George Bush's way, he going to be called negligent and incompetent and deaf to the facts. If he does it Donald Trump's way, he's going to be damned because he's taking all of these precautions and all these inconveniences out there. President Trump deserves the profile courage award for standing up and doing this. He's going to -- he's going to get tremendous amount of criticism.
[01:15:03] But I assure you, I can totally tell you this, if in fact somebody came in here through one of these refugee situations and wound up killing Americans, you would start seeing immediately things in the media saying he was incompetent, he paid no attention, he ignored things. That's just the way human life is, I guess. And certainly, that's the way it is in the media, so bravo to him for taking all of these flack.
VANIER: CNN political commentator, Jeffrey Lord, thank you very much for joining us. Thanks.
LORD: Thank you, Cyril.
VANIER: As it stands and as it is since that executive order was signed, Syrian refugees are now barred from entering the U.S. indefinitely. They already went through a lengthy and extensive process to reach the United States since under the previous regime. The average refugee application took 18 to 24 months to process, but Syrian applications took longer than that. The applications are then screened by several government agencies including the State Department, the FBI, and the DHS, the Department of Homeland Security.
Now, the Department of Homeland Security then conducts a detailed review of Syrian cases, eye scans, fingerprints, and documents are all collected, then biographic security checks are carried out. More than 12,000 Syrian refugees were admitted to the U.S. in 2016. When we come back after the break, continued breaking coverage of the fallout over U.S. President Trump's travel ban on several Muslim countries.
VANIER: Updating our "BREAKING NEWS" now. A federal judge in New York has stepped in to partially blunt the effect of President Trump's temporary travel ban. The president's executive order signed on Friday targeted people traveling to the U.S. from seven Middle Eastern countries, protests erupted south today around the U.S. passengers with valid American visas were unexpectedly prevented from entering the country. Some of those people were summarily put on flights back to where they came from. One Iraqi national temporarily detained at New York's JFK International Airport, said he was shocked by the treatment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a special immigration in my passport, me and my family, because I work with the U.S. government. I support the U.S. government from the other side of the world, but when I came here, they said no. And they treat me as I break the rules or do something wrong. I'm surprised, really.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Just one day after meeting with President Trump in Washington, Britain's Prime Minister has now issued a sharper view to Mr. Trump's travel ban. A short time ago, she released the following statement, "Immigration policy in the United States is a matter for the government of the United States, just the same as immigration policy for this country should be set by our government. But we do not agree with this kind of approach, and it is not one we will be taking. We are studying this new executive order to see what it means and what the legal effects are, and in particular, what the consequences are for U.K. nationals. If there is any impact on U.K. nationals, then clearly, we will make representations to the U.S. government about that.
And for his reaction to Mr. Trump's travel ban, I spoke earlier with Scott Arbeiter, he's the president of World Relief, which works with churches to provide refugee services and resettlements in the United States.
[01:20:00] SCOTT ARBEITER, WORLD RELIEF PRESIDENT: And the first thing you would say is, it's very reasonable for the prior administration. And this administration it takes very seriously, the matter of security. And so, we recognize how critical that is to all of us. At the same point, what we're disappointed in is this notion that security and compassion are mutually exclusive. We really believe there is a way to exercise both our traditional American values of compassion and protect our security. It doesn't have to be binary. We don't have to shut the doors to tragically already traumatized people and make it so stark as we have. We think there is a middle way that is in keeping with so many of our best values.
VANIER: But Scott, somebody who supports this order would probably say, it is fair to take a few months, as provided by this order to review the vetting procedures.
ARBEITER: I think the question is whether or not you need to slam the door completely shut to do the vetting procedures because the assumption is, is that we have major security issues, but the reality is the facts don't support that. I think the American people very rightly look at the flow of refugees going into Europe. It's an regulated (INAUDIBLE) they don't know who's going in, and they would rightly say that's a security issue that we don't want. But no refugee comes to the United States because they chose to come. They only come if in fact the State Department choses them, then vets
them for 18 to 24 months, and goes through screenings from the FBI, Homeland Security, biometric screenings, multiple interviews, only then are they allowed into the country. And the key to institute just there to study and the danger posed by refugees and concluded that the likelihood of you or I is American citizens being harmed by a refugee where 1 in 3.64 billion. I think that's probably about the likelihood that we would win the lottery and get struck by lightning in the same day.
VANIER: I want to highlight one of those numbers that you just mentioned. It is worth bearing in mind, you said refugees get vetted for 18 to 24 -- to 24 months, that's a year and a half to two years, so that's very significant. Tell me something, how does religion inform this discussion on your view of things? You were a man of the cloth, or ordained as a pastor.
ARBEITER: Well, World Relief is really from development arm or the National Association of Evangelicals, and our historic calling as Christians is to respond to the call of Jesus who said whatever you have done for you, do that to others. So, we could ask ourselves if these were -- if these were our children that were trapped in the war- torn areas, if they had been bombed out of their cities, if they were homeless, looking for a place to accept them, what would we want done for them? So, our call is not just in the last few decades, historically, Christians have recognized that we need to author our welcome to the most traumatized and vulnerable people in the world. And right now, 65 million people are displaced. We cannot slam the door shut on them.
VANIER: Scott Arbeiter, President of World Relief, thank you very much for your insights, your views on this.
ARBEITER: Thank you, Cyril.
VANIER: Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is voicing his concerns about the travel ban, tweeting this, "The executive order's humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting. We benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to the U.S. Laurie Segall has the exclusive story of Dorsey's visit to one of his newest customers, a refugee who opened a restaurant in America after fleeing the civil war in Syria.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Walking the Yassin's Falafel House and you'll see the sign, it's a message of inclusiveness.
YASSIN TEROU, YASSIN'S FALAFEL HOUSE OWNER: The word coming everybody, wherever it comes from, whatever background, you are a safe at Yassin.
SEGALL: Yassin Terou understands how important it is to feel welcome. In 2011, he fled Syria and came to the United States, here to Knoxville, Tennessee as a refugee. He struggled to find work and to find a sense of community. TEROU: OK. So, we -- I have to create my own work with very minimum cost. And there was come like the idea to make sandwiches, so I decided to give and start with falafel sandwiches at the -- our mosque and started from there.
SEGALL: The sandwiches were so popular at the mosque that it spurred a business. But Yassin soon faced another hurdle, accepting credit cards.
TEROU: For someone like me who doesn't have perfect English to make contract, working with Square was very clear and easy.
SEGALL: Fast forward a few years and his business is growing. And today is a big day for Yassin. Friends, family, customers are all gathered to welcome a special guest, Jack Dorsey, the founder of both Twitter and Square, the payment system used by Yassin and lots of businesses like his.
[01:25:03] JACK DORSEY, TWITTER AND SQUARE FOUNDER: Square has always stood for inclusivity and inclusion, and you know, when we started the company almost eight years ago now, one of things we found were that people were being blocked from participating in the economy because they cannot accept credit cards, because they couldn't get through a credit check or they were denied for whatever reason.
SEGALL: Yassin's story is part of film series produced by Square. Profiling business owners who use its platform.
TEROU: This last year has been hard on me and my family. It's like, are we still welcome here?
SEGALL: His story has never been more timely.
Donald Trump essentially blocked Syrian refugees from coming in to United States. How do you feel when you see this?
TEROU: It's very sad. But in the same time, I think we have to talk a little bit positively, we have to change this ideas, we have to work more, show more love to this community, and we are sure this community will get the love back to us.
SEGALL: Jack, you're a tech founder in Silicon Valley which is a place where immigration has helped pave the way for some of the biggest companies. And, you know, do you worry that some of the immigration policy step forward will impact innovation?
DORSEY: We benefit from immigration, we benefit from diversity, we benefit from including more people, because we see different perspectives, and, you know, the goal of -- the companies that we build in San Francisco and New York and anywhere within this country is to have global impact. And to have global impact, you need to really understand the world. And to understand the world, you need to have people from all over the world inside your companies.
SEGALL: Yassin's success has provided jobs three other refugees like him. Is this, you know, your version of the American Dream?
TEROU: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
SEGALL: Do you believe in the American Dream?
TEROU: Oh, yes. And I will -- I will keep believing on it. It's not only about business income, it's about freedom, about respect. If you work smart, he will get his dream in reality.
VANIER: All right. And just before we end the show, we want to tell you about a new series this coming week, the CNN "FREEDOM PROJECT" uncovers an international sex-trafficking network. In part one, we'll take you to Hyderabad in India where one victim of this network is speaking up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) says she was just 12 years old when her parents sold her into a forced marriage to a man from Oman. She calls the so-called "wedding night" torture.
TEXT: I wasn't educated and I couldn't understand anything that was going on. I had childishness in me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How old was the sheikh?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 70.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 70.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 70.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you were 12?
TEXT: Yes. 12 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: thanks to the courage girls like (INAUDIBLE) the CNN "FREEDOM PROJECT" uncovered a network of human traffickers, agents, brokers, and clerics who are all part of the scheme.
VANIER: We'll show you how it all works and bring you more of (INAUDIBLE) story on Monday. All points of the "FREEDOM PROJECT" series "BRIDES FOR SALE", only on CNN. I'm Cyril Vanier. "VITAL SIGNS" is up next, but first, I'll be back with a look of the headlines. Stay with us.