On the day his original travel ban executive order was set to expire, President Trump signed a new order expanding the original list of barred countries…while dropping one from the list. The new order, which is sure to re-energize the liberal opposition to the president’s authority on immigration, will add North Korea, Chad, and – in a limited form – Venezuela to the list of banned countries while subtracting Sudan, whose government is reportedly cooperating more fully with U.S. vetting expectations.
“As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people,” Trump wrote in a statement announcing the new order. On Twitter, he wrote, “Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”
While Trump’s original travel ban was time-based, White House officials say this one will only be lifted when a set of criteria have been properly met. The listed countries: Iraq, Libya, Chad, North Korea, Somalia, Venezuela, Syria, Yemen, and Iran must bring themselves into alignment with U.S. conditions before the travel restrictions can be revisited. It remains to be seen if challengers of the first two bans will also file suit against this one.
You would think that the addition of Venezuela and North Korea to the list would alleviate the central premise of those lawsuits – that Trump was effectively implementing the “Muslim ban” he proposed on the campaign trail. But according to a lawyer with the ACLU, that argument doesn’t fly.
“President Trump’s original sin of targeting Muslims cannot be cured by throwing other countries onto his enemies list,” said Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director.
No, nor was it okay that the vast majority of Muslims were unaffected by the original two bans. Because this was never about anti-discrimination efforts in the first place. It was always about “resisting” the Trump agenda and finding sympathetic courts that would play along with a blatantly partisan fight. Therefore, Trump could include only countries with NO Muslim citizens and these liberals would still find a way to oppose it.
Speaking of the courts, all of this is scheduled to go before the Supreme Court on October 10. At that time, we’ll find out once and for all if Donald Trump possesses the full powers of the presidency…or if liberals have managed to make their progressive agenda a permanent and Constitution-overriding feature of American law.
For the sake of our security and the endurance of our federal government, we certainly hope they come back with the right ruling.