On Monday, March 2nd, President Donald Trump signed a new executive order that imposes another travel ban. It is scheduled to go into effect on March 16th. Already, opponents are working to stop the president’s executive order.
Shortly after taking office, President Trump implemented his first travel ban. Federal Judge James Robarts of the state of Washington ruled that the executive order was unconstitutional. He placed a temporary stay on the implementation of the order. His ruling was later upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Instead of fighting it out in the courts, the Trump administration decided to issue a new executive order — one that would address the issues raised by the courts when they ruled against the original ban. By using a new executive order, the administration hopes to create a travel ban that is more difficult to oppose.
President Trump’s new order retains many aspects of the original one, but it also includes some changes. It removes Iraq from the list of countries affected by the ban. Iraq was removed at the request of Secretary of Defense James Mattis due to concerns that it could negatively impact our collaborative efforts with the Iraqis against ISIS.
The new ban also removes preferential status for religious minorities who are more susceptible to persecution. And it replaces the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees with a 120-day moratorium. The 120-day limit is subject to review and renewal at a later date.
The current opposition to the second travel ban is not unexpected. There are many on the left who believe the ban to be unconstitutional and discriminatory. These people would not be satisfied with any iteration of such an executive order.
However, the “resistance” may not succeed this time around. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is not going to seek another emergency stay on the new travel ban, likely because he won’t be able to convince Judge Robart that another stay is necessary. Hot Air reports:
The people who managed to get the ban revoked the first time, specifically Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in this case, were doing victory laps when the new order was released, saying that Trump had been forced to back down and revamp it. But in asking to have the same temporary restraining order applied to this version he would have to convince Judge Robart that it hadn’t been revamped at all. This proved too great of a feat for Ferguson in this case.
Since the White House altered the travel ban in a way that addressed the original concerns brought forth by Judge Robart and others, it is now harder for opponents to use the same arguments against it. This presents a tough challenge for the opposition. They will need to successfully argue that the issues identified by Judge Robart have not been adequately resolved. Hot Air continues:
The first time around they were quite happy to agree that Robart had gotten it right and identified the flaws in the order, confirming his decision to issue the restraining order. Now, during the inevitable appeal, they will be forced to deal with the same judge’s decision indicating that the weaknesses in the first order have been addressed. It will definitely smack of hypocrisy to a certain degree if they turn around and overrule him on precisely the same arguments they upheld him on only a few weeks earlier.
Of course, this is not the only attack that the left can launch against the ban. Hawaii has also filed its own lawsuit. They claim that the travel ban would cause damage to their tourism industry. It appears that they do not intend to challenge the constitutionality of the executive order. Instead, they are challenging the ban in an effort to protect their economy and commerce. It is an interesting point, but it is doubtful that this argument would outweigh the President’s constitutional authority to regulate immigration into the United States.
Then, of course, there is the religious bigotry argument. No leftist resistance to a policy would be complete without accusations of bigotry, right? Opponents of the ban argue that it unfairly singles out Muslims. The Washington Post’s Ilya Somin makes this case:
In my view, the new order is unconstitutional for some of the same reasons as the original version. It continues to be driven by hostility to Muslims, and the security rationale for it remains extremely weak, a circumstance that makes it harder for the administration to show that religious discrimination is not the true motivation for the order.
Somin and others who agree with him are going to have a hard time proving that the travel ban is discriminatory against Muslims. They can call it a “Muslim ban” all they want, but that argument does not stand up to scrutiny. There are about fifty predominantly Muslim nations in the world. President Trump is targeting only six of these countries.
If the White House wanted to specifically target only Muslims, they would quite obviously include many other nations on the list. As a matter of fact, many critics have attacked the ban because it doesn’t include other Islamic countries with known ties to terrorism.
There is also the assertion that the countries targeted by the travel ban are not a real threat. Critics are saying that the citizens of these nations are not dangerous to Americans. The reason they make this argument is because most of the Islamic terrorist attacks on American soil were carried out by Muslims who already resided in the United States. They state that we should focus more on counteracting homegrown terrorism. This is probably the most compelling argument.
They are not wrong when they say we need to improve our efforts to prevent current residents from becoming radicalized. Homegrown terrorism has been shown to be a threat. Liberty Nation has also explored this issue:
So far, the main threat from Islamic terrorism has not come from immigrants. The attacks have been carried out people who already reside in the United States. They are homegrown threats. According to the Heritage Foundation:
At least 50 publicly known terrorist plots against the United States have been thwarted since 9/11— at least 42 could be considered homegrown terrorist threats.
However, while there haven’t been attacks on American soil carried out by immigrants, it does not mean it cannot happen.
European nations have experienced multiple terrorist attacks at the hands of Muslim immigrants. The perpetrators include immigrants from countries listed in the executive order. Islamic terrorists have made it clear that they wish to launch more attacks in the United States. It is not unreasonable to think that terrorists in these nations would not come to the United States to carry out such attacks.
Finally, opponents of the ban also cite a leaked Homeland Security report that indicated that the threat from the nations listed in ban was minimal. The leaking of this report sent the establishment media into a frenzy; they believed they finally had evidence that the travel ban was not necessary. However, it turned out to be untrue. Glenn Thrush of the New York Times notes:
Last week, The Associated Press reported that it had obtained a draft homeland security assessment concluding that citizenship was an “unlikely indicator” of a threat.
Homeland security officials, speaking to reporters by telephone on Monday, pushed back against that news report, arguing that it was culled from public sources and excluded classified information that paints a more dangerous picture.
The opposing parties were basing their argument on an incomplete document. Apparently, Homeland Security does indeed believe there are potential threats from these nations.
Those who oppose the travel ban are going to have a tough fight ahead of them. However, victory is not guaranteed for the Trump administration. We do not yet know how the courts will rule. Will the opposition be able to successfully stop another travel ban? Or are they tilting at the proverbial windmill? We will soon find out.