Speed Reads

Trump Immigration Ban

Trump's new executive order requires a log of 'honor killings'

President Trump's new executive order on immigration, issued Monday, makes several significant changes to his earlier order that was blocked by a federal court six weeks ago. In addition to dropping Iraq from countries affected by the ban, the new order notably calls for a public database of honor killings — an addition that bears the fingerprints of Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

The order defines "honor killings" as "gender-based violence against women … in the United States by foreign nationals." Alleged "honor killings" are a major concern of opponents of the U.S. refugee programs, although supporters of refugee programs say the language demonizes Muslims and that there is insufficient evidence of such killings by refugees in the United States.

Nevertheless, Sessions has expressed concern about honor killings in the past, such as in a 2016 discussion with a State Department official:

Sessions: … With regard to honor killings, you have evidence that 27 people were killed in the United States for honor killings according to a DOJ report.

Simon Henshaw, State Department official in charge of the refugee program: I have no evidence that there were any honor killings among the refugee population resettled in the U.S., sir.

Sessions: Well, it's from the same cultural background I would say. [The Atlantic]

As a result, some Muslim rights advocates have slammed President Trump for appointing Sessions to his Cabinet. "[Former] Senator Sessions is one of the most, if not the most, anti-immigrant senator in the U.S. Senate," Farhana Khera, director of the civil-rights group Muslim Advocates, told The Atlantic. "He has a long record of demonizing non-white immigrants, especially Muslim and Latino immigrants."