PopPolitics: ‘Cries From Syria’ Director Says Trump’s Refugee Ban May Help ISIS Recruitment (Listen)

Cries From Syria Director: Trump Refugee
Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

Evgeny Afineevsky, director of “Cries From Syria,” which debuts Monday night on HBO, suggests that President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban could actually be used as a way for terrorism groups to recruit young refugees seeking shelter and relief from the war-torn region.

“Most of the kids that are trying to survive under this mess — they are seeking shelter,” Afineevsky tells Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. “Shutting doors in front of these children, we are allowing ISIS or al-Qaeda to take these children under their wing, give them shelter, but at the same time create from them terrorists.”

Trump’s revised travel order, issued last week, restricts travel from Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, and temporarily suspends the refugee program for 120 days.

“Cries From Syria” traces the civil war in Syria from its origins, often through the eyes of children who have witnessed brutality and devastation in the country, and later the migration from the region in hopes of stability and shelter.

Afineevsky, who is a U.S. citizen, said that what the U.S. government is “shutting doors for people who are seeking shelter. They are not trying to learn about the roots of terrorism itself, but they are trying to do a quick and easy way to just shut the doors.”

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“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety‘s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays from 2-3 pm ET/11 am to noon PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.