Trump's new ban addresses some discrimination issues, but still ignores facts on immigrants.
BY: Nisreen Eadeh/Staff Writer
President Trump has signed new executive orders on Monday after a federal appeals court unanimously blocked his ban on all nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The new executive orders will supersede the January 27 orders, which banned all citizens of Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Iran from entering the U.S. for 90 days, as well as all refugees for 120 days, and all Syrian refugees indefinitely. The ban affected many visa holders and legal U.S. residents, who have been undergoing intensive Customs and Border Protections screenings at American airports as a result.
After the initial executive orders were signed, massive protests took place across the U.S. at state capitals and major airports. The ban was deemed unconstitutional because it discriminated against travelers based on nationality and religion, which is a violation of constitutional protections against religious, national, ethnic, etc. discriminations.
President Trump has dropped some of the most controversial facets in his new executive orders, which will go into effect on March 16. The new orders will take 10 days to be enforced to avoid the chaos that erupted when the first one was hastily signed and imposed.
As before, the new order will suspend all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, but it will no longer suspend Syrian refugees indefinitely.
The new executive orders put a cap on the number of refugees the U.S. will admit to 50,000 a year, a sharp decrease from President Obama’s 110,000.
Additionally, the orders will only ban nationals from six countries, instead of seven – Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Iran. Iraq is no longer included in the ban, as it is a key ally in the fight against the Islamic State and gave Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “firm commitments” that they will comply with the Trump administration’s vetting, screening, and information sharing requirements.
Many Arab Americans were especially outraged to learn that the Iraqis being detained and deported because of the first ban were former employees of the U.S. government or military.
Secretary Tillerson also made a nod to America’s allies around the world who have criticized the ban, urging: “To our allies and partners around the world, please understand this order is part of our ongoing efforts to eliminate vulnerability that radical Islamist terrorists can and will exploit for destructive ends.”
As for the updated vetting process Trump promised during his campaign, the new orders will require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to perform a “global, country-by-country review of the identity and security information that each country provides to the U.S. government to support U.S. visa and other immigration benefit determinations” in 20 days.
Countries will then have 50 days to comply with American requests to change or improve its information sharing with U.S. officials. Countries that do not comply will be given new restrictions if intelligence agencies, the State Department, and DHS deem it necessary. The Trump administration has also vowed to undergo a thorough review of the current vetting process in its efforts to ensure better national security protocols.
Multiple White House spokespeople have clarified the status of green card holders in the new ban, too. In the first orders, green card holders from the seven banned countries were not allowed back into the U.S. without a waiver. Now, green card holders from the six countries will be able to re-enter without a waiver from the U.S. government.
Lastly, the new travel ban has dropped any language suggesting a preference for Christian refugees.
President Trump has expressed outrage over the court’s ruling on his first ban. Last week, he told reporters “the new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad decision.”
Despite massive pushback from protesters, congressmen, civil rights organizations, and the courts, Trump and his team have repeatedly called the first ban a “success.”
Administration officials have also stated on numerous occasions that it’s not a “Muslim ban,” even though Trump campaigned on a “Muslim ban.”
The Trump administration has been criticized for targeting refugees given the fact that refugees had not been involved in any major terrorist attacks that resulted in deaths.
Further proof of the ban’s ineffectiveness came from a DHS document obtained by MSNBC, which revealed that “most foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists are likely not radicalized when they come to the U.S., but rather become radicalized after living in the U.S. for a number of years.”
And in a second DHS document contradicting Trump’s rationale for the travel ban, DHS intelligence confirmed, “Country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is currently under review for possibly lying under oath before taking office, argued against the DHS report, saying three of the banned countries are “state sponsors of terrorism” and described the others as “safe havens for terrorists”.
Since justifications for the ban still do not match data on immigrants and “radical Islam”, Americans can expect another wave of strong disapproval for the Trump administration. It is unclear how the courts will view the language in the new executive orders, but as long as entire nationalities are banned from the country, the orders cannot be constitutional.
The ACLU, one of the groups responsible for temporarily stopping Trump’s first ban, has reiterated that the new ban has the same flaws as the first.
As Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, declared: “The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban.”