Professor Saeed Khan on Travel Restrictions and Trump’s First Days

“The reality is much different from the legality” of Trump’s travel ban for many Muslims.

Jake Neher/WDET

Donald Trump has been president for less than two weeks, and already the world is a much different place. The shift in administrations may be most acutely felt in America by people with ethnic links to Muslim-majority nations.

Just yesterday the administration says it’s “putting Iran on notice” — with no explanation of what that means — for launching a missile test. Meanwhile, reports from the CBC in Canada say many refugees in the U.S. have been crossing the border on foot into Canada, seeking another kind of asylum from fear of the Trump Administration. And President Trump signed an Executive Order to stop the influx of anyone from seven war-torn countries — including refugees expecting to resettle in the United States.

“The reality is much different from the legality,” says Saeed Khan, an expert in Middle and Near East history and politics and a lecturer at Wayne State University. Khan says that the application of the EO is affecting people from Muslim-majority countries not listed in the order, as well as American citizens.

But Khan adds that uncertainty and discrimination is not new to Muslims and Arab Americans.

“This is not something that is just a phenomenon of just the last 11 or 12 days” says Khan, who adds that Muslims in American have been experiencing travel anxiety for several years. He says Muslims and Arab Americans have long had the experience of needing extra identification in their travels. “It was always a matter of carrying a passport and proof of citizenship every single time [we travel].”

To hear more from Khan on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.


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