tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN January 28, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
recap of the trump administration, but i would like to think it's because there was a recognition that both sides would be represented last night. and they were. follow me on twitter. i'll see you next week. top of the hour. 7:00 p.m. eastern. i'm poppy harlow in new york. and we begin tonight with breaking news. president trump speaking out about his controversial executive order, barring 134 million people from seven muslim majority countries from entering the united states. >> it's not a muslim ban, but we're totally prepared to work it out very nicely. you see it at the airports, you see it all over. it's working out very nicely. and we're going to have a very, very strict ban and we're going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years. >> this comes as protesters gather outside of new york's jfk
airport, after word spreads. you're looking at live pictures. this is all after word spread that two iraqis were detained there, despite holding valid visas to come into this country. one of them was freed several hours ago and addressed the media. >> i have a special visa in my passport, because i work with the u.s. government. i support the u.s. government from the other side of the war. but when i came here, they said, nope, and they treat me as if i break the rules or do something wrong. i'm surprised, really. >> he worked for the u.s. government for a decade and served as a translator for american soldiers during the iraq war. 11 others are still being detained at jfk. we don't have the identities on them. part of a travel ban, this is a travel ban that targets iran, iraq, syria, sudan, yemen.
but not included in the ban, the four countries where the 9/11 hijackers came from. saudi arabia, the uae, egypt, and lebanon. reaction now pouring in, including from iranian officials, saying they'll reciprocate by banning u.s. citizens from their country. let's go to rachel crane, joining from new york's jfk airport. that protest still going on. i know you spoke with the husband of a detained woman. what did he tell you? >> reporter: hi, poppy. politics aside, hearing the stories of the families that are being torn apart, it's difficult to hear. as you mentioned, i spoke to a husband of a woman who is being detained. he is here getting his ph.d at ohio state university in biochemistry. his wife was coming on an f2 visa to come be with him. she was detained this morning. she was supposed to meet him at 8:00 a.m., when he finally heard from her at around noon from another phone number. but listen to what he had to
say. >> she called me through the phone that it was not hers and told me that she will be deported and why she was crying. i don't think that i will stay in the u.s. anymore, because of this kind of treatment. i don't have any clear vision about the future, about bad treatments to the iranian and other nationalities. so, i don't feel safe anymore to stay here in the u.s. >> now, poppy, just to give you a sense of this protest here, behind me, there's a parking lot. people have lined the inside of the parking lot. there are easily a thousand people here, chanting, and it's freezing. they're out here in the cold, demanding that the detainees be released and that donald trump, president donald trump, reverse
this executive order. poppy, also, we have just heard from a lawyer working on the case, a lawsuit that was filed today on behalf of the two iraqi men that were detained yesterday, that the second iraqi man, the one who's given refugee status, will be released in about 30 minutes. we know that earlier today, another iraqi man who's involved in the lawsuit was also released. but we just heard from his lawyer that in about 30 minutes, the second iraqi man will be released. >> rachel crane, please let us know when that happens. we'll go back to you live at jfk. thank you very much. this immigration ban means thousands of people in various stages to have the process are now in limbo. their status as a refugee completely up in the air. our senior international correspondent, ara damon, is live for us tonight in erbil, iraq. arwa, you are talking to the families there, with families that were planning to travel to america. what will they do now? >> they don't know.
they are devastated, they are absolutely heartbroken. and one woman who we spoke to was telling us how she along with all of the others went through a very stringent vetting process. it took nearly two years for her to even get this far, but then when she went to board the plane this morning, as you go to america, she was denied. and it's especially difficult for her, because her husband, who she was supposed to be joining, sacrificed so much for the united states. >> they were in sinjar when isis stormed through the area on a killing and kidnapping rampage. they barely escaped. for them, that was the end of any notion that they could build a future in iraq. dalal is not her real name, but she is afraid that by speaking out, she might ruin whatever chance remains to reach the united states, despite it being the land of free speech. >> translator: my dream was to go to america, because it's the
strongest country in the world. we feel that it's safe, it's the safest country. it has the strongest human rights. >> and this is the protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entities. >> reporter: but with one signature, that vision of america shattered. dalal says her husband worked as a translator for the u.s. military for years and applied for asylum under the special immigrant visa program. it was granted and he arrived in america last summer. on saturday, dalal was on her way to finally reunite with him. >> translator: i was about to get on the plane and they called my name. i went and they said, you can't board. you can't travel. i was shocked. i cried, why? why me? >> dalal was given this document from homeland security at the airport that basically tells her how she can put in an inquiry and figure out why she was denied boarding, although that's
pretty clear at this stage. what isn't clear is when she can apply again and what she's supposed to do next. so she and all the others are basically right now in a state of limbo. she is hardly on her own. the temporary travel ban on seven muslim majority nations to the u.s. and the indefinite ban on syrian refugees has left countless people reeling. wondering how it is that the new leader of the so-called free world can have so little compassion for their suffering. >> translator: my brain isn't working. i'm in shock. if i think of something, i start to cry. i'm not crying because i am weak, but because i had small dreams. and i thought if i went to america, they would benefit from my small dreams, and i could make them come true there and i could be safe. >> what's your message right now to president trump? >> translator: my message is that we don't hate president trump, we don't hate anyone, we
love the american people. have mercy. we don't have mercy in our country. >> reporter: but mercy, even for those that have suffered the most, does not seem to be on trump's "america first" agenda. and poppy, there are also other concerns that come along with this. i was speaking to an iraqi friend of mine in the united states, and he was saying that he was worried that because of this potential culture of fear that is being created when it comes to attitudes towards immigrants and the muslim community, it could be much more difficult for them to try to integrate into the united states. there is also great concerns being raised along the lines of the fact that this does to a certain degree play straight into the isis narrative of the west is against all muslims and that could also be potentially creating even more enemies, rather than trying to protect america at this stage. >> that echoes what the
government of iran said today, arwa. but before you go, i mean, you're there in erbil. what other stories are you hearing recounted from iraqis on the ground? >> well, you have those that were hoping to eventually get to the united states, that are in various different stages of applying, in this very strict vetting process we were talking about. and you also have people that want to visit their families. you have students that went to america to try to get an education. you have people who are in america, who want to come visit their families in iraq, who can't do that. you have individuals telling you of how they don't know when they're going to be able to see their loved ones next. of course, this isn't just iraqis that are being impacted by this. it is, as you were saying, people from seven majority muslim nations. this is literally tearing people apart and shattering that notion that they had of the american dream. >> arwa damon, live for us in erbil. thank you so much. president trump's seven-country immigration ban,
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7 day fares from $799. visit your travel agent or princess.com. princess cruises. come back new. you're taking a look at live pictures right now of protests at both dulles airport and jfk airport. at jfk, the protests have extended into the parking garage there. it is a cold night here in new york. our rachel crane saying hundreds if not thousands have gathered there. meantime, the impact across the world felt almost immediately after president trump signed an executive editor order restrict entry into the united states by people from seven predominantly muslim countries. now families are stranded in airports, couples have been separated, wondering when and if they'll be reunited. one such couple is the subject of a "new yorker" magazine article entitled the yazidi
struggle. the author joins me now, he worked for usaid as a regional coordinator in the reconstruction of fallujah back in 2005. he's also the author of to be a friend is fatal, the fight to save the iraqis, america left behind. thank you for being here tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> what's your reaction to what happened? >> how much time do you have? >> we got time. >> this is one of the darkest moments in the history of our refugee admissions program, but i guess my initial thought about this is that our president is making america into a great bonfire of the values that all of us were raised to believe in. that we embrace those that flee conflicts, and by the way, we embrace those that flee our own
conflicts. five of the seven countries that were part of this ban have u.s. forces in them, in the last year. you know, i am really struggling to find some kind of historical precedent to this, and i can't. it seems to me that the -- that whoever wrote this, and i don't know if it's steve bannon or someone else, it doesn't seem as though they even appeared to read the wikipedia page on how the u.s. refugee admissions program works. these interpreters that you're seeing is stranded at jfk, the ones that are being turned away from our airports, after waiting years to get a visa that was promised to them by both republicans and democrats over the past decade are the most documented refugees on the face of the planet. they have u.s. government-issued badges, they have soldiers, they
have marines, they have aid workers like myself. they have state department officials vouching for their service. you don't get to ride around in humvees with marines, unless you've been vetted. so when i hear president trump talk about how there hasn't been any vetting before, i don't know what world he's living in. >> kirk, so that our viewers can understand, i'm going to ask my team to bring up on the screen just some examples of how this vetting process works. right? you talk about iraqis who have helped the u.s. military in iraq. i'm going to show you what it takes for a syrian refugee to get in this country, because it takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months. they are screened by the state department, dhs, the defense department, the national counterterrorism center, the fbi. not only are their backgrounds checked, but they go through iris scans, fingerprints. their documents are collected. they go through biographic security checks again and again. it's a process that doesn't just
take one or two months, it takes two years or more. >> right. and it's a process that allowed, over the past 15 years since 9/11, has brought close to three quarters of a million refugees into this country, none of whom have been charged with any domestic terror incidents. this is not some fly-by-night operation. and i know, for a fact, from my reporting in the past day, that the officials at the state department who run these programs were not consulted by the trump administration. i was on the -- >> so, what -- go ahead. >> i was on the phone with one official, who has served for -- under many presidents, who was refreshing the whitehouse.gov website, looking for the executive order, even though this is the agency that's involved with processing refugees. there was zero consultation -- >> kirk, let me get your response to what a, you know,
surrogate of president trump, but what one of his advisers on the campaign said to me, congressman jack kingston, a few hours ago on this program. you know, he essentially said, this is, you know, he's eight days into office. you've got to give him a break, and there are kinks that are going to have to be worked out. what's your response to that? >> i would love jack kingston to call up this yazidi woman that you just featured a few minutes ago and say that to her. i would like him -- in fact, i would like the president of the united states to explain to the tens of thousands of iraqis who have risked their lives, and i'm talking shedding blood, dragging wounded u.s. soldiers out of firefights, they've had their wives raped, they've had their children kidnapped and abducted, only because they worked for us, because they believed in us. this is not a time where kinks are to be worked out. this was a colossal -- sorry to say it -- a colossal middle
finger to the service of tens of thousands of iraqis and others who have done more for this country than most living, breathing americans. the president included. so, no, this is not let's give them a chance. if they had consulted with the state department, they would have realized that there is already extreme vetting. the folks at state don't understand how we could make this anymore extreme. it is so extreme, that we -- >> just to note, we don't know that they did not. we don't know that they did not consult with the state department, one would think that the administration would consult with the state department. but before we go, my final question to you is, there are many people -- i've talked to many people who voted for president trump who wanted to see something like this. they are not people filled with hate or bigots, they are people who feel unsafe and are scared. i've gone through the facts endlessly on this show for the past few hours, you know, asking
people to point to one incident where a syrian refugee carried out a terror attack in this country, and they could not. but my question to you is, what do you say to those people tonight who are good americans, who are sitting at home, and they disagree with you? what is your message to them? >> my argument is not with the average american who doesn't understand the extraordinary lengths and sacrifices that have been made by these refugees, who are being locked up. they're not in charge. these normal americans, they're not in charge of refugee program. the president of the united states is. and this document that he signed yesterday is not a policy. it's a document that is meant to scare americans into thinking that refugees are out to get them. and what he has done is -- i mean, i'm at a loss for words. it is -- this is a product of some fever swamp, of some people
in this administration that have somehow convinced themselves that there's a threat here that they need to solve. and in the process, they are screwing over tens of thousands of people who have sacrificed everything for the united states of america and our men and women in uniform. >> kirk johnson, i have to leave it there. thanks very much. for everyone who has not read your piece in "the new yorker," i encourage them to. thanks very much. >> thanks for having me on. >> we'll be right back. does your child need help with digestive balance? try align junior probiotic. so she can have a fraction dominating... status updating... hello-yellow-belt kind of day. get 24/7 digestive support with align junior. the #1 doctor recommended probiotic brand, now for kids. justice is spelled b-o-x.
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you're looking at live pictures of protests in four american major cities. dulles airport, denver airport, and o'hare in chicago. protesting president trump's travel ban, which is now facing its first legal challenge. that lawsuit concerning two iraqis who were detained at new york's jfk airport, despite holding valid visas. one man was released earlier today. we're told the others should be released within this hour. this is the president's executive order, specifically bars entry into the united states for people, from seven many slim majority countries, including iran, iraq, syria,
libya, sudan, and somalia. jack kingston is with us, a former republican congressman from germany and a former senior adviser to the trump campaign. and wajahah ali is with us, a muslim american playwright and a contributor for "the new york times." congressman, let me begin with this. let's take a look at this picture. this is a picture of two syrian refugees, elan kurdi who washed up dead on a beach after trying to flee the civil war in his country, and a 5-year-old in an ambulance after his family's home was bombed in aleppo several months ago. do you believe that this ban, which will bar these children and children like them, from coming to the united states, makes america safer? >> well, i think, actually, two things about that. they are the result of a failed obama policy in the middle east. turning its back on the red zone after the famous statement that he made on it, is an absolute tragedy.
there was no leadership from the obama administration. what trump has inherited is an international refugee crisis that he's going to try to take a look at. the obama administration called for 100,000 refugees. trump is putting it back to 50,000 people level. but what he's saying, and he's going off of the testimony of both clapper and comey before the united states congress, who said, we didn't -- we do not have a way to verify the documentation of these people. and we already know from other situations that terrorists do slip in with refugees. so, i think, his idea of addressing it and controlling it is, i think, is a very rational approach. >> congressman, when has a syrian refugee attacked the united states? >> um, what is concern is, is amongst the syrian refugees, going again on the testimony of both national security director clapper -- >> congressman, when has a syrian -- congressman, to the
question, to the question -- >> to the question -- >> when has a syrian refugee ever carried out a terrorist attack in the united states? >> well, wipoppy, we don't know. this is looking forward. this is inheriting a mess and trying to determine, you know, is there a problem here or is there not? his executive order today called for a 30-day period of time to come up with a plan. and during that 30 days, they might say, you know what, this ban, which was also used by obama, was -- maybe it's not the best approach, maybe it is. but we've got to think forward that based on the -- >> what ban was also used against syrian refugees, was also used by president obama? >> president obama has put in a band of people from terrorist countries in the past, and i believe bush did, too. i believe obama's lasted for six months, from certain areas. and that's what this is about. this is not about splimuslims. this is about certain geographic areas where there are a lot of terrorist operations.
>> so you point out certain geographic areas where there are a lot of terrorists. let's take a walk back in history to 9/11. 16 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from saudi arabia, the rest were from egypt, the united arab emirates and lebanon. yet none of those four countries are include in this ban. does that make sense to you? >> well, poppy, maybe those on the left should say, we demand that saudi arabia be included in it and other countries as well. what the trump -- >> but it's the president's executive order. >> he is focusing on these areas in which we know we have trouble with the documentation, to figure out who's coming in. and that was based on the testimony of comey and on clapper, and other national security people have said the same thing. we don't know how authentic their documentation can be and we don't have any idea. >> okay. >> in fact, comey even said, from iraq, we have better information, because american soldiers on the ground. but we don't have that in syria. >> well, but iraq's included.
that's the thing. iraq is included in this travel ban. >> better information, but not good information. >> one of the person served the u.s. government for ten years, protecting american soldiers as an interpreters. wajahat, to you, president trump says this is in no way a muslim ban. that is what the congressman is saying as well. what has the reaction been from your muslim american friends? >> let's just not waste our time here. of course it's a muslim ban. and i actually agree with vice president pence who says that a muslim ban would be unconstitutional and offensive. >> he tweeted that -- we can show that, back in december of 2015, when he was the governor of indiana. >> and also, mitch mcconnell and paul ryan said they would be opposed to it. they're curiously silent. >> paul ryan has actually come out supporting it. >> well, well, there you go, wonderful. i'm glad that they're morally inconsistent. look, the congressman said, let's look forward looking. and to all the americans watching, i want to say this, as a fellow american, if you support this muslim ban, this refugee ban today, remember this, you will be seen as the
villains of our children's history books tomorrow. >> you know, that's not -- >> this is a shameful -- >> you're just getting back to racism, which is what the left always does. that's a default argument. >> congressman -- >> this is about muslims, this is about terrorism. you should be working -- your group should be working -- >> congressman, let's let wajahat finish -- >> what's my group? is my group muslims, by virtue of being a muslim. >> -- what was her first question to you is, what do you hear from your group -- >> congressman, respectfully, you're a servant of the people, i let you talk. let me just talk for a second, if you don't mind. >> it's yours. >> this is what it is. donald trump takes a shameful page from our darkest chapters, specifically, the japanese internments. specifically, he has the gall to sign this on the national holocaust remembrance day. and if we remember, during world war ii, america denied thousands of jews who were trying to flee, right? instead of actually moving us forward and uniting us, this is a trojan horse, poppy, just like the wall, to promote an
extremist ideology, dividing americans along religious and ethnic lines. now, about keeping us safe, it's both ineffective and counterproductive. why is it ineffective? because it's called the measure to protect americans from terrorist attack by foreign nationals. kato institute, a conservative institute, did a study. in the past 40 years, poppy, do you know how many foreign national from these seven muslim majority national countries have killed americans in terrorist attacks in america? zero. state department has resettled 785,000 people, refugees, since 9/11 -- >> none of them from iraq has killed an american? that's an interesting statistic. no one from iraq has killed an american? >> no foreign national on american soil. >> you said no from these seven -- >> no terrorist attacks, they have not been killed in terrorist attacks on american soil. >> i just don't see why you're -- >> also, 785 -- congressman -- >> it's a failed policy that
we've inherited with, and he is trying to put order in it. and you know what? under his 30-day plan, they may say, you know what, you are right. this is unconstitutional, it's awkward, it's not going to work, it's not effective. what are you afraid of? this has been used in the past! >> congressman, respectfully -- >> i always mean, you, meaning left, left-winger, hillary supporters -- >> it's about the constitution. >> it's about racism. it's always about racism. this is not about muslims. i know you hate to hear that. this is about a geographic areas that are troubled, in which we can't verify documentation. >> poppy, may i respond? >> wajahat, final word. >> congressman, if you really want to help american national security, don't help isis and al qaeda. they're rejoicing right now. what donald trump is doing and what you're saying right now, with this ban on muslims and this extreme vetting of muslims helps their recruitment and propaganda. the number one recruitment of isis on al qaeda is the west is at war with islam. so please, fight for the american people, congressman. and also -- >> and that's -- >> also, ask donald trump to stand up for --
>> that's right. >> ask him to -- >> gentleman, i have to leave it there. >> congressman -- >> gentleman! >> ask president obama to tweet against putin. >> gentleman, we have to leave it there. wajahat ali, congressman jack kingston, thank you very much. we appreciate it. still to come for us here, president trump has now issued a record number of executive actions. we'll talk to a former white house adviser to multiple presidents to get his reaction on this travel ban. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." (vo) maybe it was here, when you hit 300,000 miles. or here, when you walked away without a scratch. maybe it was all the times it got you safely out there. or all the times it got you out of there.
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executive orders, some creating backlash and confusion, some drawing major support. let's talk about it all with david gergen, our senior political analyst and a former presidential adviser to presidents nixon, ford, reagan, and clinton. nice to have you on, david. >> hello, poppy, good to see you. >> the congressman just said, congressman kingston, in the last block, that this is nothing different. this travel ban is really nothing different than actions taken by president obama and his predecessor, president bush. do you recall it that way? >> no, i don't recall anything similar to this, by either president, certainly not president obama. it is true, poppy, that after 9/11, immediately after george w. bush ordered up efforts to sort of check out the muslim community, other communities, and there was a muslim registry, that, as you'll recall, was started by the government, they quickly took it down after two months. it had these -- it had offensive qualities, but it was nowhere near -- i don't think it's comparable to what we're seeing
here. and it's also very important, in the bush years and in the obama years, efforts were greatly, were greatly increased to improve the vetting of people before they came in, so the refugees who come in now often have been vetted for two years or so before they're allowed in. this is -- we don't have low barriers here. we have pretty high barriers, as it is. >> as someone who advised multiple presidents in both parties, do you believe that this executive action will stand up in the eyes of the law? >> i see no reason why it would be unconstitutional. i may be wrong about that. i think the more important impact is on two fronts. one is, i think the domestic politics of this and international politics, this will -- this is what he campaigned on. this is what voters, when they voted, they knew he was going to do. he did win the election. it's not unreasonable that he's followed through, on some sort
of severe vetting kind of program. and even to call these people radical islamic terrorists. that all seems to me to be sort of within the bounds of politics. but poppy, what presidents say and how they execute things is important. often as important as what they do. in this case, i think that the sort of, out of the nowhere, no word being put forward and playing down the gates, when people are in airplanes, when families are torn apart, when people with green cards, by virtue of the green card have permanent residency in this country are held out. when scientists from iran can't come here, that in and of itself, i think, is distressing. i think the president basically should have gone and given an international speech to the world community, saying, we're -- i'm signing these executive orders. we have five days. everybody can get prepared, within five days. but let me tell you why. and that is, this country welcomes refugees. but we have had problems.
and we want to strengthen those and we want to improve the quality of refugees -- we'll continue to welcome refugees. i think he made a mistake by takie ing it from 100,000 to 50,000. and we want to be the leader of the world in providing -- >> david, what does this mean? on that front, what does this mean for u.s. alliances? with major allies in the muslim world, like turkey and saudi arabia, what does this do to that? >> yeah, i think, poppy, distressingly, i think it's going to give great offense. and this sends a signal from the united states. muslims not welcome. we may not ban you, but, by the way, you're not welcome. and we have a lot of muslims in our own society who are really important citizen for us. and president obama and president bush, both united on that point. and i think this administration has turned away from it. and i must say, if you look at the totality of executive orders and actions that have taken place here, you know, we've given offense to the mexicans in the past week, we're giving
offense to the chinese, we're giving offense to a lot of people in continental europe, and now we're giving offense to 2 billion people who are muslims around the world? you may put america first, mr. president, but you're doing it at the expense of our respect and our soft power. the power to draw others to us, and others who look up to us. we've got a lot of people in the world who are really angry at us right now. >> david gergen, so appreciate you being on tonight. thank you. >> thank you, poppy. take care. we're going to be right back after this. be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara®
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let's go back live to jfk airport in new york city where two travelers arriving from iraq were detained earlier today because of the president's new immigration ban. they had valid visas to come into country this country. rachel crane is live from jfk. one of the people detained was let out earlier today. now in this new court filing, lawyers are claiming dozens and dozens of people are detained at jfk. what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: well, poppy, we know that earlier today, 12 people were detained here at terminal four. we also went over to terminal one, where we learned about seven or eight people had been detained. we had a chance to speak to some of their family members. one of the women who was detained was from yemen.
she was 68 years old. her son was here to meet her. she was coming to live here with him. she had a green card. she's diabetic. he's unclear if she has her medication. he has not been able to get in touch with her and is incredibly worried about her well-being, her healthy. she was coming here to live with him because she was not well. we also spoke to another young man who was here on a student visa. he's getting his ph.d in biochemistry at ohio state university. his wife was issued an f-2 visa. she was supposed to meet him here at 8:00 a.m. now, unfortunately, she also was detained. she is set to be on a flight back to iran at 11:00 p.m. and her husband, mohammad, spoke about how they come here thinking that they were going to find the american dream. that america is the best place for science, technology, engineers, mathematicians. he was expecting to make a better life for the two of them,
he wanted to go into biochemistry. he said that dream has now been crushed. poppy? >> rachel crane live for us at jfk. coming up for us, one of silicon valley's biggest names weighing in tonight in an exclusive interview with our laurie segall against the travel ban. hear from the founder of twitter, as he helps a syrian refugee live the american dream. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." ♪ ♪ juswho own them,ople every business is different. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow. whether it be help starting your business, vendor contracts or employment agreements. legalzoom's network of attorneys can help you every step of the way so you can focus on what you do.
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tech giant google is warning employees from countries impacted by the president's travel ban to fly back to the united states immediately. the company also warning employees from those countries not to travel outside of the united states until the ban is completely lifted. meantime, twitter founder jack dorsey voicing his concerns about this ban, tweeting today, "the executive order's humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting. we benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to this country." laurie segal has the exclusive story of dorsey's visit to one of his newest customers, a refugee who opened a restaurant in america after fleeing the syrian civil war. >> reporter: walk into yasin's falafel house and you'll see this sign. it's a message of inclusiveness. >> we welcome everybody. from every background. you are safe here.
>> reporter: yasin teru understands how important it is to feel welcome. in 2011 he fled syria and came to the united states. here to knoxville, tennessee as a refugee. he struggled to find work and to find a sense of community. >> okay. so i have to crease my own work. was very minimum cost. and there was the idea to make sandwiches. so i decide to start with falafel sandwiches at our moss sxk start from there. >> reporter: the sandwiches were so popular at the moss thak it spurred a business. but yassin soon faced another hurdle. accepting credit cards. >> for someone like me who doesn't have perfect english to make contracts, working with square was very clear and easy. >> reporter: fast forward a few years and his business is growing. and today's a big day for yassin. his friends, family, customers are all gathered to welcome a special guest. jack dorsey, the founder of both twitter and square, the payment system used by yassin and lots of businesses like his. >> square has always stood for
inclusivity and inclusion. when we started the company almost eight years ago now, one of the things we found were that people were being blocked from participating in the economy because they couldn't accept credit cards, because they couldn't go through a credit check or they were denied for whatever reason. >> reporter: yassin's story is part of a film series produced by square profiling business owners who use its platform. >> this last year has been hard on me and my family. it's like are we still welcome here? >> reporter: his story has never been more timely. >> donald trump has essentially blocked syrian refugees from coming into the united states. how do you feel when you see this? >> it's very sad. but in the same times i think we have to talk a little bit positively, we have to change these ideas. we have to work more, show more love for this community. and we are sure this community will get the love back to us. >> jack, you're a tech founder in silicon valley, which is a place where immigration has helped pave the way for some of
the biggest companies. do you worry that some of the immigration policies put forward will impact innovation? >> we benefit from immigration. we benefit from diversity. we benefit from including more people because we see different perspectives. the goal of the companies that we build in san francisco and new york and anywhere within this country is to have global impact. and to have global impact you need to really understand the world. and to understand the world you need to have people from all over the world inside your companies. >> reporter: yassin's success has provided jobs for three other refugees like him. >> is this your version of the american dream? >> oh, yes. oh, yes. >> you believe in the american dream. >> oh, yes. and i will keep believing. it's not only about businesses and economy. it's about freedom. it's about respect. if you work smart, you will get his dream in reality. >> laurie segal, thank you very
much for that report. i also want to know that tonight apple's ceo tim cook issued a letter to all of his workers reacting to this and he called it deeply concerning. he also assured his employees that apple does not support president trump's policy on this travel ban. coming up next for us this hour, much more coverage of these live unfolding and developing protests at airports across this country. a new court filing saying dozens of travelers are detained right now at jfk airport because of the new travel ban. this as the aclu has filed a motion to try to stop this ban. that is all straight ahead. "how to win at business." step one: suck on and point decisively with the arm of your glasses.
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top of the hour, 8:00 p.m. eastern. this is a special live edition of "cnn newsroom." i'm poppy harlow in new york. so glad you're with us. we begin tonight with breaking news. lawyers saying dozens and dozens of travelers are being detained right now at new york's jfk airport, this as a result of president trump's controversial executive order banning citizens of seven muslim majority countries from entering the united states. this hour the american civil liberties union is in federal court seeking a nationwide stay that would block the deportation of all people stranded in the u.s. under this ban in those airports.