The new order represents a major political defeat for the Trump administration, which decided to shove aside the dozens of lawsuits that were filed after the first order was signed and just sign a new order.
Apparently Trump's a little gun shy after the protests, the Justice Department refusal to defend it, the more than 50 lawsuits, a federal judge in Seattle blocking the order’s implementation nationwide, a U.S. District Judge failing to find compelling evidence that any immigrants from the seven countries in the order had ever committed an attack on U.S. soil and finally the administration's unsuccessfully attempt at an appeal.
Don't get me wrong it is still a xenophobic religious ban that will affect tens of thousands of innocent people looking to come to our country in search of safety and a better life.
But look the Donald needs a win. So in order to save face, his team went back to the drawing board and came up with something his Muslim hating base could cheer about.
The end result was signed by Trump today with little fanfare, no cameras, gold plated Sharpies, no saying the magic words "radical Islamic terrorism". There wasn't even a single mention of “extreme vetting”!
What happened to the all caps: "SEE YOU IN COURT" bravado?
Even the original seven predominantly Muslim countries has been paired down to six - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - as Iraq has been scratched from the list.
The only travelers banned are those without visas and with or without this new executive order they would have been barred from traveling to the U.S. anyway.
Lets take a look at a few of the specifics.
Here is what has changed in the new order...
Iraqi citizens will no longer all be barred from entering the country in the revised order.
The revised order specifies that it will not ban the entry of green card or visa holders from the six targeted countries. Anyone from the six countries with a valid visa can legally enter the country, but the U.S. just won’t issue any new visas for 90 days.
The clause in the original order that indefinitely banned the entry of all Syrian refugees into the U.S. has been removed but the clause halting all refugee resettlement activity for 120 days is still in place, and that includes Syrians .
The new order doesn’t go into effect until March 16 in order to phase in the implementation. This also means that those people already in transit are exempt from the order.
The new order also removes the section stating that certain refugee claims could be prioritized “on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” This was interpreted as an exception being made for Christians since Trump has highlighted the plight of Christians in Muslim-majority countries and justified the signing of the order in the first place by expressing the need to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of America.
What remains from the previous order...
The travel ban on non-visa holders from the six targeted countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - is still in effect for 90 days.
The refugee resettlement program will still be disbanded for 120 days, even though there’s no singling out of Syrian refugees. And the total number of refugees who can enter the U.S. this fiscal year will still be mandated to down from 110,000 to 50,000.
The once urgent ban that needed to be implemented immediately and without warning because according to Trump “the bad would rush into our country” is not due to go into effect for another 10 days.
But what's the hurry... By now all the "bad" have rushed in anyway.