President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, signed Monday, may be more legally sound. But that doesn't mean it's being better received.
Whereas the initial executive order banned immigrants and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries, the new one has now been changed to temporarily suspend travel from just six nations — removing Iraq from the list — among other adjustments. That's not soothing critics, many of whom say the ban shouldn't have happened in the first place.
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to Congress, tweeted: "A Muslim ban is still a Muslim ban."
Trump's Muslim Ban is still a Muslim Ban. https://t.co/WtL7B8eg75
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) March 6, 2017
The "Muslim ban" idea was echoed by other members of Congress, such as Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
Version 2 of the ban still targets Muslims, still inspires more terrorism, still violates our founding principles. Oh, and still illegal. https://t.co/b80kX16G2D
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 6, 2017
Other Democrats have also chimed in."While the White House may have made changes to the ban, the intent to discriminate against Muslims remains clear," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. "This doesn’t just harm the families caught in the chaos of President Trump’s draconian policies – it’s diametrically opposed to our values, and makes us less safe. My office is closely reviewing the new executive order, and I stand ready to litigate — again — in order to protect New York’s families, institutions, and economy.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer made it clear that he doesn't think that judges will be any easier on the new travel ban. "Despite their best efforts, I fully expect this executive order to have the same uphill climb in the courts that the previous version had," the New York senator said. He added that the ban was "mean spirited" and "un-American" and said he plans to push for it to be repealed.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said of the revised ban: "This pared-down order is an incredible concession from President Trump that all but concedes the significant and practical flaws that the Courts and I saw in his original ban."
Organizations dedicated to refugees, immigrant rights and civil liberties also blasted the new ban.
"Removing overt references to religious minorities and removing the blanket ban on Syrian refugees does not mask the true intent of this order, and it does not make this version any more constitutional than the first," said Michelle Jawando, the vice president for legal progress at the Center for American Progress in a Monday press release.
"This new Executive Order simply reinstates many of the most repellent elements of its predecessor," said Amnesty International. "It tramples on the values the USA has long claimed to stand for and threatens to dash the hopes of thousands of refugees who were due to be resettled in the USA."
The American Civil Liberties Union dropped the mic in its comment: "The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban."
No press was allowed to be present while President Trump signed the revised order, but at a press conference related to its release, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended it, saying: "This executive order responsibly provides a needed pause, so we can carefully review how we scrutinize people coming here from these countries of concern. . . . We know that many people seeking to support or commit terrorist acts will try to enter through our refugee program."