Locals react to Trump's new travel ban; claims Obama spied on him

Locals react to Trump's new travel ban; claims Obama spied on him

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - President Donald Trump's revised travel ban elicited quick reaction locally.

"Everyday there's an issue. We are dividing, dividing, dividing, we're not bringing our country together," said Rahman Bhatti, a past president and Board of Trustees member of the Jefferson Muslim Association.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise weighed in on the new travel ban during a stop in New Orleans Monday.

"We let more people in than any other nation in the world, about a million people a year, but let's make sure the people coming in share our values and want to be a part of American dream and aren't coming here to do us harm," said Scalise.

President Trump's latest executive order specifies a 90-day ban on people coming from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. But the revised document excludes Iraq, which was included in the original travel ban stalled by the courts.

"To our allies and partners around the world please understand this order is part of our ongoing efforts to eliminate vulnerabilities that radical Islamist terrorists can and will exploit for destructive ends," said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Bhatti does not believe the ban is warranted.

"I don't think it's necessary, I think this will not help the cause of terrorism, we need to have more thorough vetting before bringing anybody in the country. To single out a few countries I think is not going to be good for our country," said Bhatti.

He fears it could embolden extremists.

"I think they will consider this a war against them, Islam…because of the way that they are uneducated and it will breed more contempt," said Bhatti.

"So it's a good idea to exclude Iraq, but it would be a better idea to exclude the rest, too" said professor Chris Fettweis, a foreign policy and international relations expert at Tulane University.

He called the president's move a solution to a problem that does not exist.

"We have had no incidents of any people from these countries perpetuating any terrorism in the United States," Fettweis said.

And he expounded on the exclusion of Iraq from the new ban.

"It's a good idea to exclude Iraq because there's a lot of people over there who we would like to come here, a lot of translators, people who helped us during the war," said Fettweis.

"We've obviously had a direct involvement in Iraq for years now, and I think what this shows is we want to work with countries that want to work with us," Scalise said.

Fettweis said the new travel ban comes amid growing frustration in the U.S. intelligence community and he said the president's unsubstantiated claims over the weekend that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign do not help.

"There's no way that this could have happened without people in the intelligence community not knowing about it, and it wouldn't happened without a FISA Court, a secret court, giving permission," Fettweis said.

"I'm not sure what that was based on. I haven't seen any information myself, but I'd be interested in seeing if the White House gave more detail. I know that the House is going to be looking into it, as well," said Scalise.

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