By Gabrielle Bruney, esquire.com
Another tale of our inhumane immigration policy.
President Trump’s truly evil family separation policy has really taken the heat off of his also-nightmarish travel ban. But the unlike the family separation rule, which Trump suspended via executive order, the travel ban is still in effect. NBC News reported a tragic story from the fallout of this cruel policy, that of a U.S. citizen who died by suicide earlier this month after his wife and two of his children were denied visas to join him in America.
Mahmood Salem, who emigrated from Yemen, was distraught after his family members were barred from the U.S. and left stranded in Djibouti. He called them to say goodbye, then died by suicide on July 18th. Relatives reported that he could no longer afford to financially support his family from abroad, and that Salem’s children were sick.
Salem’s brother Mimun told NBC that the family’s visa denial was “the first and main reason” for Mahmood’s death. Reuniting the family in their native Yemen wasn’t an option, as Yemen is locked in a civil war that has devastated the nation and left its population near starvation, in what the U.N. has called the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”
Trump’s travel ban, which the Supreme Court upheld last month, forbids issuing visas to those from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen, as well as to North Koreans and some Venezuelans. The inclusion of two non-Muslim countries has been used by the President’s supporters to suggest that the rule is not intended to be Muslim ban, despite all the times Trump is on record saying he wanted to prevent Muslims from entering the U.S.
The ban’s application to the included non-Muslim countries also has little real-world effect, as the vast majority of Venezuelans are free to enter the U.S.-only certain government officials and their families are ineligible for visas. And banning North Koreans can only be symbolic, given the fact that that nation’s totalitarian regime isn’t really big on freedom of movement.
In a bitter irony, the U.S. government finally permitted Salem’s family an exemption from the travel ban-five days after his death.