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Trapped by the Muslim Ban: Act for Mustafa*


Yemenis who left everything behind to come to the US have been stuck in Malaysia for months because of the discriminatory Muslim and Refugee Travel Ban.

Most recently, the Trump Administration issued the latest update to the Muslim and Refugee Travel Ban. Known as Muslim Ban 3.0, it indefinitely bans citizens from eight countries from entering the United States, including five of the countries from the previous ban, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and Iran. It also expanded the scope of the ban to include North Korea, Chad, and Venezuela. Sudan has now been taken off of the list of banned countries. Many people are trapped in limbo as a result of the ban.

“We are stuck in Malaysia and we don’t know what to do,” Mustafa told us. He and dozens of others are trapped. Mustafa and many others like him have escaped dangerous countries where bombs are falling. They have left everything behind, only to be stranded.

Dozens of Yemenis won an opportunity to immigrate to the United States through the Diversity Visa Program and travelled to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, in late 2016 and early 2017 for processing at the US embassy. After their interviews at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the embassy informed them that either their diversity visas were in administrative processing or that their applications had been denied.

Now that President Trump extended the Muslim ban indefinitely, we must urgently act. We can’t let this cruel ban trap Mustafa and countless others.

*a pseudonym was used to protect his identity

Consul General
US Consul to Malaysia