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Updated “Muslim Ban” by Tamara Qutmiera

President Trump issued a replacement executive order in response to the protests and utter displeasure the people have shown regarding the original Muslim ban, which was executed on January 27, 2017. The original order barred all immigration for ninety days from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The new ban, which will be implemented on March 16, bars immigration from six of the original seven.

Iraq was removed from the list because government officials were worried the U.S. had jeopardized our relationship with Iraq, an important US ally. The new order does not bar lawful permanent residents and others from those six countries that have been granted visas. It applies only to those seeking new visas. Where the initial order suspended refugee admissions from Syria indefinitely, and from all other countries for one hundred twenty days, the new order subjects Syrian refugees to the same suspension as everyone else.

Some of the commentary regarding the new order has suggested that these minimal changes have made it less vulnerable to legal challenge. It won’t go into effect until March 16, but it’s believed that it shouldn’t cause the same chaos we saw at airports the weekend the first order was signed. The decision to exempt current visa-holders also means that the order does not strip individuals in the US of rights previously granted to them, as the first order did.

“I don’t believe that this new order will just fly unnoticed. People are going to be just as outraged and disappointed with the Trump administration this time around, as they were with the first order. It is still a ban that is wrongfully targeting Muslims, no matter how they want to frame it,” said Senior Danielle Jones.

Furthermore, the new order eliminates a provision in the first order that made a case-by-case exemption from the refugee ban available for persons of “minority” faiths in their country of origin, a provision Trump admitted was designed to favor Christian refugees. The new executive order, however, retains a case-by-case exemption authority, so the government could still indeed favor Christian refugees in practice.

“The countries on this list aren’t even the countries in which terrorists, that have caused harm in America, have derived from. The list is completely unjustified and if Trump were really doing this to “keep America safe” then he would have included other countries not the ones on this executive order,” said Senior Jessica Long.

The new order still shares the central defect of its predecessor. Removing Iraq from the list still leaves six countries, all of whose populations are at least 90 percent Muslim. And all the evidence that pointed to the illegal intent underlying the first order applies with equal force to the second order. The administration maintains, as it did with the first, that the order is justified by national security concerns, but that justification is not universally accepted.  

“There are many other ways to keep this country safe, this ban isn’t going to be doing that, if anything it will cause rifts and problems with these people who have never wronged us,” Said Senior Jessica Long.

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