Last Thursday, thousands of Yemeni-Americans turned out at a rally in Brooklyn to protest President Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban. Trump’s executive order, signed on Friday, temporarily banned citizens of Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia from entering the United States
The Yemeni, a Muslim based community, approximates that 6,000 of New York City’s 16,000 bodegas are owned by Yemenis, along with a multitude of other restaurants and hookah bars.
Members of New York’s Yemeni community shut down their businesses from noon until 8pm as a message: this is what New York would look like without Yemeni-Americans. Accordingly, it was jarring for many New Yorkers to see the ultimate symbol of consumer access suddenly close en masse
The White House has said that focus on the seven predominantly Muslim countries was not a ban on Muslims, and that its intent was to ‘allow time for the establishment of “extreme vetting” measures for travellers and migrants from these countries going forward.’
Immigrant-rights activists and lawyers have long complained that travelers, immigrants, and even naturalized American citizens from Yemen, in particular, are subject to unfair and intrusive scrutiny.