Donald Trump signed a revised version of his controversial travel ban Monday, barring would-be visitors from six Muslim-majority countries. But many political opponents of Trump criticized the executive order as nothing more than “Muslim ban 2.0.”
Behind closed doors, Trump quietly signed the new executive order that bans U.S. visas for people from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya. The new travel order removes Iraq from the list of restricted countries.
Prior to the signing, Iraq welcomed the removal from the revised travel ban, calling it a “positive message.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal said it “reinforces the strategic alliance between Baghdad and Washington in many areas in the forefront in the fight against terrorism.”
The original travel ban caused immediate panic and chaos at airports around the country as Homeland Security officials scrambled to interpret how to implement it and travellers were detained before being sent back overseas or blocked from getting on airplanes abroad.
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The revised order is narrower and specifies that a 90-day ban on people from the six countries does not apply to those who already have valid visas or people with U.S. green cards.
Following Monday’s signing, reaction was swift with many people referring to the executive order as #MuslimBan2.
Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson lashed out, calling Trump’s revised order nothing more than “Muslim Ban 2.0.”
Omar Jadwat, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project, issued a statement denouncing Trump’s executive order.
“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,” Jadwat said in the statement. “The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban.
“President Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people,” Jadwat said.
In a series of tweets, New York Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump’s revised travel order “must be repealed” while calling it “mean-spirited” and “un-American.”
“Americans need to know that this latest Exec Order has absolutely nothing to do with national security. It is still a ban. #MuslimBan2,” the senator tweeted.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto also called for the repeal of the revised order.
“President Trump’s #MuslimBan2 is as equally immoral and un-American as the first version. This is not who we are and it must be repealed,” Masto tweeted.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also chimed in on the ban.
But the executive order wasn’t universally panned. In a statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan welcomed the revised order saying it “advances our shared goal of protecting the homeland.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham echoed Ryan’s statement, saying the ban “will help achieve President Trump’s goal of making us safer.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi denounced the “immoral” and “unconstitutional” travel order.
“This is the same ban, with the same purpose, driven by the same dangerous discrimination that weakens our ability to fight terror,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Trump’s new travel ban is expected to take effect on March 16.
–with files from the Associated Press.