The star of ‘Presidential Apprentice’ signed a revised version of his ‘Muslim ban’ today that affects one less country, but still fails to justify any of its measures as necessary to national security.
“You should not see any chaos, so to speak, or alleged chaos, at airports,” an anonymous Department of Homeland Security official tells the Washington Post. “There aren’t going to be folks stopped tonight from coming into the country because of this executive order… We’re going to have a very smooth implementation period.”
Iraqis are no longer banned by the executive order, the official says, because that country agreed on “timely repatriation” of their citizens deported from the United States.
This time, they say, no current visa holders will be stopped at the airport, that dual citizens and legal permanent residents will be unaffected.
But the previous order could not pass muster in federal court because the administration failed to present any evidence that the seven countries affected by it constituted a clear and present danger to national security.
Since then, the Trump administration has rejected a report from the Department of Homeland Security which found that citizens of those seven nations do not represent a serious terrorism threat. They were still pushing back today.
The Department of Homeland Security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, criticized the report as being incomplete and not vetted with other agencies, and he also asserted the administration should not be pressed by the judiciary to unveil sensitive national security details to justify the ban.
“This is not something that the Department of Justice should have to represent to a federal-district court judge,” the official said.
That is pure nonsense. Federal courts have well-established procedures for hearing and protecting classified information. The only reason to withhold such “security details” is that the data simply does not match the policy — there’s no ‘there’ there.
While the order cuts the annual number of refugees by half, for example, no refugee has ever committed a deadly act of terrorism in the United States, so the Trump team has just made up a number.
Officials also attempted to lay out a more robust national security justification for the order, claiming that it was needed because 300 people who entered the country as refugees were the subject of counterterrorism investigations.
The officials, though, declined to say from which countries those people came, and they declined to detail the people’s current immigration status.
“This is not a Muslim ban, in any way shape or form,” the anonymous official told the Post, pointing out that “hundreds of millions” of Muslims are not hampered by the order. Which is exactly like arguing that an executive order prohibiting black residents of Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi from visiting California is somehow not discriminatory against African Americans.
It doesn’t take a law degree to see where this is headed. Donald Trump’s second Muslim ban is going to fail just like the first one, in the same way, for the same reasons.
Featured image: Screengrab, Trump’s Twitter Account
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