CAIRO (CBSMiami/AP) — President Donald Trump says his crackdown on refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries “is not a Muslim ban.”
A day after signing an executive order implementing the ban immediately, Trump says it’s “working out very nicely.”
But confusion, worry and outrage boiled over Saturday as airlines blocked people from traveling to the United States and legal challenges were mounted.
Included is a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The U.S. refugee program is suspended for 120 days.
Trump’s order imposed the most aggressive ban on Syrians, indefinitely blocking entry to the U.S. by anyone from that country, including those fleeing civil war.
Around the world, airlines have turned away passengers, refunded tickets and rebooked flights in the aftermath of the immigration order.
It forced airlines to tell some customers they couldn’t proceed on flights to the U.S.
Dubai-based Emirates said a small number of its passengers were affected Saturday, and it was helping them rebook. Delta Air Lines and British Airways both said they were offering refunds for passengers who couldn’t complete their trips.
Several airlines, including Qatar Airways, posted travel alerts on their websites warning customers about the changes.
Iran countered the move with a ban of their own.
In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, however, said his country’s decision to not issue give Americans visas will not be retroactive.
Zarif says on Twitter: “Unlike the U.S., our decision is not retroactive. All with valid Iranian visa will be gladly welcomed.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a message for refugees: Canada will take you.
Trudeau also tweeted a picture of him greeting a Syrian child at Toronto’s airport.
Trudeau oversaw the arrival of more than 39,000 Syrian refugees soon after he was elected in late 2015.
The young prime minister has been reluctant to criticize President Donald Trump. His government has been trying to balance his liberal view of the world while not offending the new Trump administration.
More than 75 percent of Canada’s exports are to the U.S.
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