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Peter Thiel Defends Trump's Muslim Ban

Peter Thiel

Thiel serves as an adviser to the president. 


Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley tech investor, who doesn't offer interviews to the media often, has defended President Donald Trump's migrant and refugee ban by falsely stating that it is not a religious test.

"Peter doesn't support a religious test, and the administration has not imposed one," Thiel said through his spokesman Jeremiah Hall. While the White House scurries to defend its executive order by claiming it is not a Muslim ban, Trump himself has called it a "ban" on Twitter. "Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers. We cannot allow this horror to continue!" tweeted the president.

President Trump signed an executive order Friday that barred citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country for 90 days and stopped admission of all refugees for 120 days, as CNN reported. Though the White House claimed it was not a "Muslim ban," former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani went on Fox News and said that Trump asked him to assist him in crafting a "Muslim ban" in a "legal" way. The ban bars people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the country, even if they have visas or green cards A federal judge ruled late Saturday that those who have valid visas couldn't be deported after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the order. But the order did not specify whether those detained should be allowed entry into the country. The Department of Homeland Security said it's still enforcing the order and won't allow people from these countries to board transportation to the United States.

Thiel, a gay man, is as a tech adviser to President Trump. Thiel immigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1977 and became the founder of PayPal. He organized a tech summit for the Trump administration that included heads of major tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Uber, among others.

Several Tech heads have spoken out against Trump's ban, such as the out leader of Apple, Tim Cook. Steve Jobs, the famous Apple visionary and founder, was the son of a Syrian immigrant. "Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do," Cook said in a statement.

LGBT groups condemned the ban Saturday. "President Trump's attacks on immigrants and refugees are a direct assault on America's most fundamental values," said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "Donald Trump's unjust and unconscionable executive orders make life more dangerous for countless LGBTQ people, and could equal a death sentence for those trying to escape violence and persecution from places such as Syria. No wall, no matter how high, can block America's promise of liberty and justice for all."

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Yezmin Villarreal

Yezmin Villarreal is the former news editor for The Advocate. Her work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Mic, LA Weekly, Out Magazine and The Fader.
Yezmin Villarreal is the former news editor for The Advocate. Her work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Mic, LA Weekly, Out Magazine and The Fader.