News ID: 188915
Published: 0715 GMT March 07, 2017
'Still a Muslim ban'

Lawmakers react to Trump's new travel ban

Lawmakers react to Trump's new travel ban

Democratic lawmakers swiftly reacted to President Donald Trump's revised travel ban that temporarily halts people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts.

The revised order, which aimed to tackle legal issues facing the original ban, dropped Iraq from the list of targeted countries and specified that the 90-day ban on travelers from Sudan, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen does not apply to people who have valid visas or are permanent residents, time.com reported.

According to Reuters, immigration advocates also said the new ban still discriminated against Muslims and failed to address some of their concerns with the previous order. Legal experts said it would, however, be harder to challenge because it affects fewer people living in the United States and allows more exemptions to protect them.

Democratic lawmakers swiftly condemned the new ban, saying it targets Muslims.

“The Trump administration’s repackaging has done nothing to change the immoral, unconstitutional and dangerous goals of their Muslim and refugee ban,” House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group in Washington, said the Trump administration had "doubled down on anti-Muslim bigotry."

She told reporters on a conference call: “It’s crystal clear this is a Muslim ban.”

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, said in a tweet, “Trump’s Muslim Ban is still a Muslim Ban.”

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer tweeted, “a watered down ban is still a ban.” In subsequent tweets, Schumer called the ban “mean-spirited & un-American,” and urged for it to be repealed.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez also called the ban “un-American” in a statement.

“Trump’s obsession with religious discrimination is disgusting, un-American, and outright dangerous,” Perez said. “Don’t be fooled — he promised again and again during his campaign that he would single out and persecute a specific religious group, and that’s exactly what he’s trying to do now.”

While Democrats were quick to decry the revised order, some Republicans cheered on Trump’s new ban, with speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, saying in a statement, “the revised executive order advances our shared goal of protecting the homeland.”

Trump, who first proposed a temporary travel ban on Muslims during his presidential campaign last year, had said his original Jan. 27 executive order was a national security measure meant to head off attacks by terrorists.

Trump’s original ban resulted in more than two dozen lawsuits in US courts. The Department of Justice estimated 60,000 people had their visas revoked by the first order but senior administration officials said on Monday those visas were now valid again for entry into the United States.

Iraq was taken off the banned list because the Iraqi government has imposed new vetting procedures, such as heightened visa screening and data sharing, and because of its work with the United States in countering Daesh terrorists, a senior White House official said.

 

   
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