Yemenis condemn Trump visa restrictions STORY:
U.S. President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on Yemeni citizens travelling to the United States sparked panic and anger among Yemenis, with some describing the move as “racist” and “unjust”. The war-damaged and impoverished country in the south of the Arabian Peninsula is one of seven majority-Muslim countries whose citizens face a 90-day ban on entering the United States. Trump, a businessman who successfully tapped into American fears about terror attacks during campaigning for November’s presidential election, has also put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States.
Speaking from the capital Sanaa, internationally renowned Yemeni street artist Murad Subay said the visa ban has effectively prevented him from seeing his wife, who is currently studying in the United States. “Unfortunately this is a decision that is going to affect millions of citizens in these countries. For me personally, my wife is a student at university in America. This is a totally racist decision,” said Subay. “We (my wife and I) can no longer meet after this decision. I, along with any nationals of these countries, will be completely prohibited from entering (the US). And if these people left the United States, they will be prevented from re-entering. This decision must be revised and Americans should oppose it,” Subay continued.
The Houthi-led government in Sanaa also denounced the decision describing it as “illegal and illegitimate”.The Houthi-controlled news agency SABA quoted a foreign ministry source as saying the ministry was aware that such an action is the sovereign right of the U.S. government.
But “the source said emphatically that any attempt to classify Yemen or its citizens as a possible source of terrorism and extremism was illegal and illegitimate”. Yemeni Human rights activist Radiyye al-Mutawakal said her office has received numerous calls from Yemenis tied to the United States asking questions about how the visa restrictions may apply to them.
“This decision…affects many in Yemen, for example like those that reside in the United States but are currently visiting relatives (in Yemen) and they are wondering and concerned that they may not be able to return to America and to their lives there. This decision impacts many different segments and it is unjust,” she said. The Yemeni embassy in Washington issued an advisory on Sunday (January 29) for Yemenis already inside the United States not to leave the country until details of the visa ban and its ramifications are clarified.