Governing from behind the safe confines of the executive pen, Donald Trump signed a second version on his Muslim ban on Monday away from the cameras and glitzes used in his first Muslim ban order, and aiming to withstand court challenges while still barring new visas for citizens from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily shutting down America’s refugee program.
The revised travel order leaves Iraq off the list of banned countries but still affects would-be visitors and immigrants from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.
Trump privately signed the new order Monday while Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally unveiled the new edict. They did not take questions from reporters.
The low-key rollout was in contrast to the first version of the order, which Trump signed a week after his inauguration in a high-profile ceremony at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes as Secretary of Defense James Mattis stood by.
I find it hard to believe that a nation of immigrants is refusing entry to other immigrants, based for the most part, on the immigrant’s religion. But for Donald Trump and his Republican backers, this is exactly the outcome they are after.
Hours after landing in New York on Saturday, a doctor at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic was forced to leave the country based on an executive order issued by President Donald Trump that bans visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days.
Her flight to Saudi Arabia took off minutes before a federal judge in New York put a temporary stay on turning back people in such situations.
Suha Abushamma, 26, is in the first year of an Internal Medicine residency program at the clinic and held an H-1B visa for workers in “specialty occupations.” Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, she holds a passport from Sudan, one of the seven countries from which Trump barred visitors.
On Saturday evening, Abushamma was forced to make a choice by Customs and Border Protection agents: She could leave the country voluntarily and withdraw her visa — or she could be forcibly deported, which would have prevented her from coming back to the United States for at least five years. The latter also would have resulted in a permanent black mark on her immigration record.
She asked for a delay but was refused, she said in a FaceTime interview with ProPublica while she was flying over the Atlantic on her way back to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not one of the countries on Trump’s list, but because Abushamma’s passport is from Sudan, she was told she is covered by the executive order.
“I’m only in this country to be a doctor, to work and to help people — that’s it,” she said. “There’s no other reason.”
I hate to say it, I really do. But Republicans have been suckered into thinking Donald Trump would do a bunch of things when he officially becomes president in January. After all, he ran an entire campaign telling his voters to expect these changes, and they voted for him expecting him to do what he promised.
One of those things Trump ran on is infamously called, the “Muslim Ban.” As unconstitutional as that sounds, Trump told his faithful followers that banning all Muslims from entering the United States – based solely on their religion – was the only way to stop violence in the United States. Now it seems as if Trump has washed that language from his website.
Gone from his site is also language about his potential Supreme Court justice picks and other economic reform plans.
The link to his Dec. 7 proposal titled: “Donald J. Trump statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration,” in which he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” vanished, along with his list of his potential Supreme Court justice picks as president and certain details of his economic, defense and regulatory reform plans.
The Trump campaign did not respond to multiple emails seeking comment on the website changes.
The most powerful Republican in Congress has drawn a line in the sand against the leader of the Republican party – if Donald Trump tries to carry out any of his more insane policies, Paul Ryan has said he “would sue!”
Ryan said he wasn’t sure of the “legal question” of whether Trump could institute a Muslim ban on his own as president.
“That’s a legal question that there’s a good debate about,” he said, citing the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act.
“On the broader question, are we going to exert our Article I powers and reclaim this Article I power no matter who the president is? Absolutely,” Ryan said. He also said he discussed the limits of the executive power with Trump.
There are some who say what President Obama did today was unprecedented. But when Donald Trump – the leader of the Republican party and Republican presidential candidate – continually misleads his followers with unconstitutional talk of religious tests for Muslims entering the United States, then the sitting president had no choice but to stand up and smack down Trump’s ignorance.