Twenty-one-year old cinematographer Khaled Khateeb, a member of the Syrian civil defense unit the White Helmets, was denied entry into the United States. Khateeb planned to attend Sunday’s Academy Awards which has nominated the documentary he worked on, also named The White Helmets.
This is just another way Trump’s haphazard approach to an international policy is embarrassing to the United States and shows that it does not make us safer.
The White Helmets is nominated in the Best Documentary (Short Subject) category. It chronicles the heroic Syrian patriots who risk life and limb rescuing people trapped under the rubble of buildings felled by bombs mostly dropped by the indiscriminate savagery of the Russian/Bashar al-Assad coalition.
Khateeb was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Saturday. However, the Department of Homeland Security blocked him from entering the United States, citing “derogatory information” about the cinematographer according to the Associated Press reports.
Khateeb had been given a visa to visit the US for the Oscars. However, internal Trump administration correspondence viewed by the AP shows that Homeland Security blocked Khateeb in Turkey. Reportedly he was told that he needed a “passport waiver” to continue on to America. That waiver was denied.
The White Helmets is a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated rescue effort that has garnered international respect. Denying a member of this organization, who happens to be the cinematographer for a documentary lauding the work of this humanitarian group, does not make America safer, it makes America look stupid!