A federal appeals court’s refusal to reinstate President Donald Trump’s controversial temporary travel ban affecting citizens of seven majority Muslim nations drew mixed responses from the central San Joaquin Valley.
Some were delighted, saying it demonstrated that the nation’s checks and balances remained firmly in place. Others decried the decision Thursday by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, calling it an overreach. Some shrugged and said it still wouldn’t be resolved until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in.
Here is a selection of reactions:
‘We are very happy’
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision was encouraging for about 5,000 Yemenis living in the Central Valley, said Madram Shuaibi, president of the Central Valley Yemeni Association.
“We are very happy,” he said. “We got something out of our minds because everyone was scared. We have friends over there and families and we didn’t know how we would reunite.”
He said he has close relatives living in Yemen. Shuaibi said he wants people to know that the local Yemeni population began settling in the Valley 70 to 80 years ago.
“I want people know we are here to serve the community, we are here to work hard, to support our families, not to do bad things,” he said. “We are peaceful people, loving America.”
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, called the ruling “a textbook example of judicial overreach by a notoriously left-wing court whose verdicts habitually get overturned. Pausing the refugee program is well within presidential powers and is a measured, appropriate response to current jihadist threats.”
A plea for collaboration
Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, said: “It is disputes such as these that highlight the need for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together to address the issues facing our nation through the legislative process. Only together can we protect the our nation while upholding our American values.”
‘I’m trying to run a city here’
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said he expects the federal court decision will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I think in time all of this is going to get resolved in court,” he said. Until then, Brand said: “I’m just trying to run a city here.”
‘Checks and balances’
Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria said, “It shows that the checks and balances are in place and that they are ensuring that our executive branch stays within the law.”
She assumes the decision will be appealed. “I hope our Supreme Court takes up the issue to see that it rules consistent with all the previous court decisions.”
Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau took to Twitter after the federal court decision: “I can’t wait to see this go to the Supreme Court. Elections matter.”
Brandau said in a telephone interview that “my initial thoughts are that they’re trying to inject a motive into the law rather than follow the law.”
‘A victory for everyone’
United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez praised the ruling.
“By rejecting the government’s argument that the Trump Muslim ban is ‘unreviewable’ by the federal courts, the Ninth Circuit panel took to heart Benjamin Franklin’s words that, ‘Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.’
“Today’s decision is a victory for everyone in America who believes in constitutional and democratic rights and opposes bigotry against people because of their faith or national origin.”
‘The trust he does not have’
Zachary Darrah, executive director at Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries, said he did not feel Trump had the grounds to make the executive order. And he is pleased with the court decision.
But the decision will not completely alleviate concerns of refugees and immigrants, Darrah said. His agency has seen a tremendous increase in people seeking citizenship and in making sure their green cards are in order, he said.
“The reality is that Trump, the way he speaks about this issue, it’s hard to pedal back on that with the trust he does not have with the refugee and the immigrant community. That fear will exist for as long as Trump is in the White House.”