On Monday, President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order on immigration, designed to correct the deficiencies of the last one that several courts have put on hold. Although it removes some of the red flags planted in his last order, which courts found would likely run afoul of the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause, the new order is still basically a Muslim ban. It’s no more rationally based on national security than was the previous order.
The new order attempts to resolve some of the legal disputes over the last one by removing the previous explicit exemption for religious minorities in the countries targeted by the suspension of the refugee program. It also no longer singles out Syrian refugees for exclusion, but continues to suspend all refugee resettlement in the United States for 120 days.
The new order also removes Iraq from the earlier list of banned countries, but it continues to include six majority-Muslim countries: Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, with the justification that “the conditions in these countries present heightened threats.” Each of these countries, the order states, “is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones.” The order notably still does not include Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Saudi Arabia. What’s more, it continues to rely on the absurd justification that the situations in those countries affect “the foreign government’s willingness or ability to share or validate important information about individuals seeking to travel to the United States.” In other words, it penalizes refugees fleeing repressive governments because their governments won’t help vet their citizens’ claims of government persecution.