Muslims in the Mahoning Valley discouraged by immigration order


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Since President Donald Trump signed a controversial executive order on immigration, protests have been popping up around the country. Most protesters oppose the ban and some Muslims in the Mahoning Valley are happy to see their support.

Trump’s executive order, signed on January 27, temporarily halts immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. It also stops refugees all over the world from coming into the U.S.

“It was pretty sad because I have family members and friends over there and if I fly over there, I might get stuck,” said Zayd Ali, of Canfield, who has family in Palestine.

From California to D.C., even right here in Youngstown, thousands of people have protested the immigration policy.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” said Amirah Mufleh, of Liberty. “Even though this is something that is dividing us as a nation, it’s also something that is allowing us to be more cohesive as a nation. It’s allowing us to recognize our neighbors, recognize our differences, and welcome them in our homes, and recognize the differences that separate us but also bring us together.”

Bilal Wekhyam, of Boardman, said he is so thankful for the protesters and “in debt to them.”

“Of every religion, race, everything, decided to join us and help us with our brothers and sisters in different countries.”

Mufleh said the U.S. was built on the shoulders of immigrants.

“We are the blood, sweat, and tears of this nation and to think that we’re not being appreciated, we’re not being valued as human beings, it really is a discouraging thing.”

She said she wants to support Trump as the president but in order to do that, she said Trump has to allow immigrants to help and support him.

Several others expressed sympathy for Syrian refugees and said they were saddened to learn a group coming to Youngstown will no longer be permitted in the country.

On Friday, a federal judge in Seattle stopped the president’s executive order. The Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying, in accordance with the ruling, they will not be implementing any actions related to the executive order.

President Trump responded with a series of tweets over the weekend:

New Yorkers had a pro-Trump rally Sunday with people holding signs, showing support for the president.

One Muslim woman from the Youngstown area said Trump should learn more about Islam so he’s not as fearful. She said Muslims are also part of the American community, and deserve to have a voice and be heard.