INTERNATIONAL

Trump signs ‘Muslim Ban 2.0’ order

The Donald Trump administration issued a new executive order on Monday, temporarily banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries to the U.S, after an earlier order ran foul of the country’s judiciary. The new executive order bans travel from six countries — Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, leaving out Iraq among countries that was in the earlier order’s list.

In an attempt to pass the judicial scrutiny, the order says that current visa and green card holders from these countries will not be affected. It also explains the basis for including the six countries, trying to remedy a lacuna in the earlier version. Further, it avoids the preferential treatment offered to Christian refugees in the earlier order.

“Here we go again... Muslim Ban 2.0,” Congressman Andre Carson responded. “Courts across the country have made clear: President Trump is not above the Constitution. While the White House may have made changes to the ban, the intent to discriminate against Muslims remains clear,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, said, offering to take the issue to the courts again.

“We do not make the law, but are sworn to enforce it. We have no other option,” said Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, at a press conference to announce the presidential decision. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney-General Jefferson Sessions were also present. “The order is completely lawful,” said Mr. Sessions.

The new order will not come into effect until March 16, in contrast to the earlier order that became effective immediately. There will be a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas for citizens of these six countries, and the refugee programme will be suspended for 120 days. The number of refugees to be admitted this year has been reduced to 50,000 from the 1,10,000 cap set by the Obama administration.

The order said each of the six countries was either a “state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organisations or contains active conflict zones”. It also gives country-wise details, justifying the inclusion of each and also explains the exclusion of Iraq.

“Iraq presents a special case. Portions of Iraq remain combat zones,” the order said, but added that the country’s commitment to “combating [IS] justify a different treatment“

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