Fort Smith Islamic Center Reacts To President Trump’s Immigration Ban

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A Syrian immigrant who is a member of the Fort Smith Islamic Center shared his thoughts on President Donald Trump's travel ban. The executive order temporarily prevents people from traveling to the United States from predominately Muslim countries.

"I think that's a bad decision from our president," said Hisham Yasin.

Yasin has lived in Fort Smith since 1996. He said he supports what President Trump is doing to help the economy, but he is concerned about the executive order, which prevents refugees from entering the country for 120 days. It also bans immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia from coming to the U.S. for three months.

"Mr. Trump, he's a businessman and sometimes businessmen, he makes a bad deal, and that's what this offer is," Yasin said. "It's a bad deal."

Yasin said one of his family members was travelling to Dallas when the president signed the order. Yasin said that relative went to visit her children, but she was almost sent back to Egypt because she had a Syrian passport.

"They banned her like seven hours, and they released her with the pressure of the American people," Yasin said.

On Monday (Jan. 30), Arkansas Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton shared their support of President Trump's decision. Yasin said he has one message for Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

"Why don't you welcome some refugees from Syria," he said. "We have a lot of empty land. We have a lot of empty houses. We support them."

Yasin said he is grateful to live in peace and freedom, but he called the travel ban unconstitutional.

"If you look at the majority of Muslim communities and the whole United States, maybe 1 percent or less have problems," Yasin said.

The White House said the travel ban is needed to keep America safe, but some national security experts strongly disagree.