Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Experts: New Travel Ban More Palatable, Still Problematic

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Experts: New Travel Ban More Palatable, Still Problematic

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * More palatable, but still problematic: That's the judgment of some legal experts who have examined President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, issued after a month of legal wrangling over the original.

The version released Monday is much narrower and eases concerns about violating the due process rights of travelers. It also attempts to erase the notion that it was designed to target Muslims by spelling out more of a national security rationale. But civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers aren't buying it.

Here's a look at how the new executive order differs from the old:

WHAT'S DIFFERENT?

Much. The initial order came by surprise, and immigration officials had little guidance about how to implement it. People who were legal residents or had already been vetted to travel to the U.S. found themselves detained in airports or sent back. Chaos ensued as thousands of protesters crammed airports, and judges began barring the government from deporting certain passengers.

A federal judge in Seattle ruled that the ban was likely illegal and ordered the government to stop enforcing it nationwide, a decision later upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

This time, Trump gave 10 days' notice before the order goes into effect, on March 16. The new ban temporarily bars new visas for citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries one fewer than the original, with Iraq removed from the list. It does not apply to travelers who already have visas.

Like the first order, it suspends the U.S. refugee program for four months and cuts the number of refugees the country is willing to take in to 50,000 from 110,000.

IS IT REALLY ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY?

The order says people from Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen "warrant additional scrutiny in connection with our immigration policies because the conditions in these countries present heightened threats." Intelligence analysts at the Department of Homeland Security have questioned that rationale, concluding that citizenship is an "unlikely indicator" of terrorist ties.

Washington state and Minnesota argued in their successful legal case against the original order that it was motivated by Trump's desire stated during the campaign to ban Muslims. …

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