Donald Trump signed a new executive order that would ban travel from six mostly Muslim countries for 90 days. The refugee resettlement program is banned for 120 days instead of indefinitely. The order no longer includes Iraq, travelers with green cards or valid visas. It also does not include language that prioritized refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups. The new EO takes effect March 16.
It was signed behind closed doors without cameras or the hoopla that accompany his other useless EO signings. Instead, Trump marched out three cabinet members to make the public announcement to the press, taking no questions afterwards.
“It is the president’s solemn duty to protect the American people and with this order, President Trump is exercising his authority to keep our people safe,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared.
“Today’s executive order…will make America more secure and address long overdue concerns about the security of our immigration system,” Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly added. “We must undertake a rigorous review and are undertaking a rigorous review of our immigration vetting programs to increase our confidence in the decisions we make relative to visitors and immigrants that travel to the United States. We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives.”
Even after his own agency poo-pooed the nonsense that “bad dudes” are entering the US via the immigration and refugee process, Secretary Kelly is just babbling anti-Muslim propaganda.
What happens next are a new set of legal challenges in the courts.
The ACLU and other groups say that, regardless of the revisions, they will likely pursue ongoing lawsuits in courts that have already prevented the administration from enforcing the first order. Critics have widely derided that order as a “Muslim ban,” but the president has insisted his actions are needed to keep the United States safe from terrorists.
“As long as there continues to be a ban, we will pursue our lawsuits,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “The discrimination that spurred the ban doesn’t simply disappear by the removal of a few words.”