Rashida Tlaib calls Trump’s consideration of a travel ban expansion ‘straight up racism’

In light of increasing tension with Iran, President Donald Trump is reportedly considering expanding a current travel ban to that country, but one Democrat lawmaker said she thinks the motivation is “racism.”

“No more waiting. Too many Muslims have been intentionally targeted, discriminated against, separated from their families and denied opportunities solely based on their faith. Straight up racism!” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who is Muslim and of Palestinian descent, tweeted Saturday.

An Associated Press report stated that a document outlining the administration’s plans had been “circulating the White House” and that countries that would be affected were “blacked out,” according to their anonymous sources.

Currently, a travel ban exists for five countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as Venezuela and North Korea, the AP noted.

White House officials defended the current travel ban, noting that it was in place as a matter of enhancing national security.

“The Travel Ban has been very successful in protecting our Country and raising the security baseline around the world,” White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told the AP.

“While there are no new announcements at this time, common-sense and national security both dictate that if a country wants to fully participate in U.S. immigration programs, they should also comply with all security and counter-terrorism measures — because we do not want to import terrorism or any other national security threat into the United States,” he added.

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