President Donald Trump’s administration is due to release a tweaked version of the rather controversial original travel ban Executive Order which did not break ground as federal courts intervened to put a stop to it.
James Robart, a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, who issued a Temporary Restraining Order against the EO had attracted Trump’s ire and ridicule who had tweeted that the “so-called judge” had passed a “ridiculous” TRO.
What did the original travel ban Executive Order entail?
* The original EO banned nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya) from entering the US for 90 days.
* The order halted all refugee entry to the US for 120 days.
* Indefinitely suspended entry for Syrian refugees.
What’s different in the new/overhauled travel ban EO?
The new order proposes to amend parts of the original order which prompted the courts to put a Temporary Restraining Order on its implementation. In its court filing, the Trump administration said that the overhauled order “will clear the way for immediately protecting the country rather than pursuing further, potentially time-consuming litigation.”
Reportedly, the draft order which has been “streamlined” to meet the least resistance from the courts looks to:
* Continue to focus on the same seven Muslim-majority countries in the original order – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya.
* However, green card holders and dual-citizens of the United States and any of the aforementioned seven countries will be exempt from the travel ban.
* Those with valid US visas will be allowed to enter the country.
* The revised draft also directs Homeland Security not discriminate against Syrian refugees when processing fresh visa applications.
* CNN quoted a source as saying that the new order looks to tackle religious discrimination issues by removing a particular section of the original EO which said that refugees’ claims should be prioritised “on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality”.
However, prospects of the new order subduing opposition seem bleak as a fresh wave of demonstrations and all round protests are being organized. Civil rights groups have gone on record saying they will not back down from challenging the order in courts.
The original order hard sparked widespread criticism and mass protests at airports where chaotic scenes were witnessed not only across the United States but worldwide.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference last week, US Secretary of Homeland Security said that a new “streamlined” version of the original executive order was being worked on by the President and his team to address the courts’ areas of concern that had led to a Temporary Restraining Order being imposed against the travel ban.
Kelly said that the original order was a kind of “temporary pause” so that he could “”see where our immigration and vetting system has gaps — and gaps it has — that could be exploited.”
When asked if the new order would permit green card holders and people with valid visas to enter the United States, Kelly evaded the question saying, “it’s a good assumption.”
Kelly also said that the United States had to “find ways to vet in a more reliable way to satisfy us that the people that are coming to the United States are, in fact, coming for the right reasons.”
When asked if a sweeping travel ban on the seven Muslim countries would have the desired effect, Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s top security official, said it would not be in the interest of security.
“To ban whole countries perhaps could create more collateral damage, and perhaps does not produce more security,” he said. “The more precise you do it, the more effective you are.”