For about five years now, Anton Alzein had been president of the local Syrian Lebanese American Club of Florida (unaffiliated with the Syrian Lebanon American Club of Palm Beach) which has a following of about 350 members.
Born in Damascus, Syria, Alzein has lived in Holland where he met his wife and then moved to the United States about 15 years ago.
He supports President Trump's executive order signed Friday.
“I believe he's doing the right thing. I think his intention is to protect the American people and protect our border,” he says.
He agrees with Mr. Trump that this isn't a Muslim ban, but a way to buy time to separate the good people from the bad.
“I think it gives him a chance to solve the problems,” he says.
Critics of the travel ban, like former president Barack Obama, see it as exactly that, a ban on Muslims. In his first statement since the inauguration, an Obama spokesperson said today that he “fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
“What bothers me is the war there. We need to have peace. All the people want peace now,” Alzein says,
Alzein says President Trump will do what former presidents did not and help find a resolution in his war torn birth country.
“When we have peace we don't need to have refugees,” he says. “We don't need to pick any refugees to come here because we won't have refugees anymore. That’s the reason behind supporting him. Solve your problem, get peace, and stop refugees from going anyplace, anywhere.”
Alzein says none of his members or their families were affected by the travel ban.