No matter what President Donald Trump and his administration continue to claim, the Jan. 27 executive order to restrict travelers from seven countries — Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from entering the United States was the implementation of the notorious Muslim ban the business mogul proposed during his controversial election campaign.
The order squashed the hope of salvation for tens of thousands of people worldwide, especially those trying to flee war and destruction in their homelands, and ripped apart hundreds of families.
The ban also drew international criticism and triggered chaos, encouraging scores of people to protest outside airports where the authorities had detained travelers — including U.S. green cardholders — hailing from the countries on government’s no-no list.
The legality of the racist and xenophobic move did not only confuse the civilian, even judges questioned its constitutionality, eventually leading a federal appeals court to unanimously strike down the travel ban.
However, if you thought the revamped ban would be much more humane or a little less Islamophobic, you were sadly mistaken.
In addition to that, the Trump administration’s refugee cap of 50,000-per-year reportedly would remain unchanged, which looks stern compared to former President Barack Obama’s 110,000-per-year refugee cap, of which the U.S. has already taken in 35,000.
So what have the White House officials tweaked?
Well, unlike in the original order, where the status of green cardholders was unclear, the revised version would exempt them from the ban. This was one of the most controversial aspects of the original order.
Since green card holders are approved to live permanently in the U.S., they have constitutional rights to due process. Therefore, by not letting them enter the country, the Trump administration was violating the law.
If the leaked draft is signed in its entirety, it would be harder to challenge in court on that ground at least.
Similarly, the new order will also supposedly exempt dual citizens of the U.S. and one of the seven banned countries and might altogether eliminate the provision that indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the country.
Meanwhile, those currently in the U.S. on visas are still not allowed to leave or return — despite the fact they do have due process rights as well.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said “the president is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version” of the travel ban, adding next time he will be able to “make sure that there's no one caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports.”
He also said the original order was a “temporary pause” that allowed them to “see where our immigration and vetting system has gaps — and gaps it has — that could be exploited.”
Hopefully, any revised ban won't turn out to be another disastrous experiment by the Trump team — and hopefully there will be teams of lawyers just as ready to fight any unconstitutional moves the president might make.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters