Rep. Jason Chaffetz meets with Utah Muslims to discuss immigration order

Posted at 10:23 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 00:24:01-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Just a day or two away from the expected court decision on the immigration and refugee executive order, Congressman Jason Chaffetz met with local Islamic leaders to talk about how the current climate is affecting the community.

The 10 leaders voiced their concerns at a meeting in Salt Lake City and urged Chaffetz, a Republican representing Utah's Third District, to speak up in Washington D.C.

"We still brought people in, we vetted them, and there's been no issue: so I'm not sure why you're not standing the ground," said Noor Ul-Hasan, a Muslim community activist.

She said immigrants from some of the seven countries on the travel ban list have had no issues, and she felt they have been properly vetted thus far, so she said she didn't think those countries should be part of the ban.

Chaffetz gave answers and made promises to take their concerns to the federal level.

"I'll go back and ask, I don't know the answer to that question," he replied to Ul-Hasan.

Congressman Chaffetz also focused on the vetting process.

"I do believe that we have the necessity as a nation to protect our borders," Chaffetz explained during the meeting. "I do think it is proper to make sure that new people coming into this country are properly vetted."

Ul-Hasan said she wanted to know exactly how Chaffetz could help them, and indicated she had hope his position on the Government Reform Committee could be an advantage.

"He's also on the Oversight Committee, and there needs to be some check and balance system of what is going on," she said.

Dr. Salman Masud, who is president of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, said he gave the congressman a 30-page study on the impact the executive order would have on doctors.

"It tells us that there are 10,000 physicians from these seven countries going to be affected," Masud said. "Look at the ramification of this [executive order]."

Overall, the meeting ended on a positive note with hope, as the travel ban hangs in the balance.

"I hope our message gets through," Dr. Masud said.

He added that he is happy with how refugees and immigrants are treated in Utah, and that he has no issue on a local level.

Ul-Hasan said she is organizing events on a local level, inviting people to different mosques so they can get to know refugees living in the community.