Here’s the text of the new order. Note the title, “Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States.”
And note passages such as this one:
Executive Order 13769 [Trump’s previous EO on the subjet] did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion. While that order allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities — whoever they are and wherever they reside — to avail themselves of the USRAP in light of their particular challenges and circumstances.
Trump’s new order also includes “brief descriptions, taken in part from the Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2015 (June 2016), of some of the conditions in six of the previously designated countries that demonstrate why their nationals continue to present heightened risks to the security of the United States.”
The order then goes on to “temporarily pause” travel from six of the countries in the previous order, “subject to categorical exceptions and case-by-case waivers.” Iraq is excepted, and an explanation is given for that, including the following caveats:
…[T]he ongoing conflict has impacted the Iraqi government’s capacity to secure its borders and to identify fraudulent travel documents. Nevertheless, the close cooperative relationship between the United States and the democratically elected Iraqi government, the strong United States diplomatic presence in Iraq, the significant presence of United States forces in Iraq, and Iraq’s commitment to combat ISIS justify different treatment for Iraq. In particular, those Iraqi government forces that have fought to regain more than half of the territory previously dominated by ISIS have shown steadfast determination and earned enduring respect as they battle an armed group that is the common enemy of Iraq and the United States. In addition, since Executive Order 13769 was issued, the Iraqi government has expressly undertaken steps to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the return of Iraqi nationals subject to final orders of removal. Decisions about issuance of visas or granting admission to Iraqi nationals should be subjected to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants have connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations, or otherwise pose a risk to either national security or public safety.
There’s much much more. Some of it has to do with enhanced vetting, including the extent of the cooperation of the countries involved. Another section has to do with the scope of the EO, and T’s are crossed and I’s dotted where they were not before. For example, the EO exempts “any lawful permanent resident of the United States,” and any “national [who] has previously established significant contacts with the United States but is outside the United States on the effective date of this order for work, study, or other lawful activity.”
There are many many more exempted categories listed, and then the EO goes on after this for quite some time. It’s a far more carefully-drafted document than its predecessor, and in my opinion is similar to one that might have been issued in the first place had Trump waited for Sessions to be in charge before releasing it.
And of course, none of this carefulness matters to some Democrats:
Democrats responded by calling Trump’s order a repeat version of the first attempt.
“Here we go again…Muslim Ban 2.0 #NoBanNoWall” tweeted Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana, one of two Muslims serving in the House of Representatives.
And then there’s the ACLU:
Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, had this reaction:
“The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible. Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws. The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban. Instead, President Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people.
“What’s more, the changes the Trump administration has made, and everything we’ve learned since the original ban rolled out, completely undermine the bogus national security justifications the president has tried to hide behind and only strengthen the case against his unconstitutional executive orders.”
Everything moving along pretty much as expected.