On Monday, Donald Trump signed a revised executive order which reinstated the travel ban that caused chaos and uproar since it’s inception in January.
This new ban revokes the order issued by Trump on 27th January which was one of his first legislature changes for his administration. The original order was met with stern opposition and was subsequently blocked by federal judges despite Trump claiming the ban was within his legal authority as president.
Officials state that the new wording in this latest travel ban has attempted to avoid legal pitfalls they fell in previously whilst ensuring Americans were safe from terrorism at home. Therefore, whilst it defends the original one it also seeks to address some of the major complaints with it.
It states that the original ‘was not motivated by animus towards any religion’. Furthermore, it also provides specific exemptions for lawful residents who had initially been included in the ban and also removes Iraq from the country’s specified.
This relative concession from Trump’s administration comes just a month after the president famously tweeted, ‘see you in court, the security of our nation is at stake’:
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
The initial ban was criticised greatly for it’s poorly organised implementation, provoking protests and chaos in airports as arrivals were detained despite having valid visas. Whereas this time round journalists, Congress and officials were briefed in a 24 hour stint about the new order’s content. Moreover, it will not come into effect until March 16th to ensure all procedures are in place this time.
Just like the previous ban, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are subjected to the ban. As well as that, the new order significantly continues the suspension of the US refugee programme for 120 days, however, offers special treatment for Syrian refugees who will not be subjected to an indefinite ban this time.
Immigration and civil rights groups and activists are almost certainly set to react to the new order. Some groups have come out and said that the softer nature of the wording still doesn’t disguise the unjust travel ban.
Amnesty International’s secretary general for example said: “Removing the ambiguity about permanent residents is simply an attempt to evade further judicial scrutiny. The anti-Muslim rationale behind this executive order should be evident to anyone familiar with Trump’s long campaign to spread fear about Muslims.”
An immigration researcher for Human Rights Watch’s US progamme said: “President Trump still seems to believe you can determine who’s a terrorist by knowing which country a man, woman or child is from.”
The White House however continue to staunchly defend the ban. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “Three of these nations are state sponsors of terrorism. The other three have served as safe havens for terrorists – countries where the government has lost control of territory to terrorist groups like Isil or al-Qaeda and its affiliates…This increases the risk that people admitted here from these countries may belong to terrorist groups, or may have been radicalised by them.”