WASHINGTON – A leading American Muslim civil rights group has condemned President Trump’s new “Muslim Ban 2.0” executive order signed earlier on Monday, March 6, calling it a Muslim ban at its core.
“This executive order, like the last order, is at its core a Muslim ban, which is discriminatory and unconstitutional,” Nihad Awad, the National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement sent to AboutIslam.net.
Trump signed a revised executive order on Monday banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the United States but removing Iraq from the list, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts.
The new order, which the White House said Trump had signed, keeps a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
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 Islamic State militants, a senior White House official said.
Major Differences between Two Orders
The Business Insider stated five differences between Jan 27 and March 6’s ban as follows:
- Iraq is removed from the list
- Existing visa holders will not be subjected to the ban
- Religious minorities are no longer given preferential treatment
- Syrian refugees are no longer singled out
- The roll-out will occur in 10 days
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the new order would take effect on March 16.
The delay aims to limit the disruption created by the original Jan. 27 order before a U.S. judge suspended it on Feb. 3.
“It is the president’s solemn duty to protect the American people,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters after Trump signed the new order.
“As threats to our security continue to evolve and change, common sense dictates that we continually re-evaluate and reassess the systems we rely upon to protect our country.”
Meanwhile, CAIR, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will hold a news conference at its Capitol Hill headquarters in Washington, D.C., to respond to the signing of President.
“As Trump administration officials have stated, this ‘Muslim Ban 2.0’ – which has been debunked by the Department of Homeland Security – appears to be merely a retooled order aimed at the same long-stated goal of banning Muslims from entering the United States,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena F. Masri, Esq.
Ban is a Ban
Democrats remained steadfast in opposition to the order.
“Trump’s obsession with religious discrimination is disgusting, un-American, and outright dangerous,” Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said in a statement.
“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.”
And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the “watered down ban is still a ban.”
“Despite the administration’s changes, this dangerous executive order makes us less safe, not more, it is mean-spirited, and un-American,” the New York Democrat said. “It must be repealed.”
“Delaying its announcement so the president could bask in the aftermath of his joint address is all the proof Americans need to know that this has absolutely nothing to do with national security,” he continued.
“Despite their best efforts, I fully expect this executive order to have the same uphill climb in the courts that the previous version had.”