Photo Courtesy of the White House
U.S. President Donald Trump
By Michael V. Cusenza
Out with the bold, in with the new. Sort of.
President Donald Trump this week signed a new Executive Order, essentially an update of the “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” action that he introduced in January. The original EO 13769 barred refugees from entering the United States for the next 120 days (Syrian refugees were barred indefinitely); and precluded all immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen – from entering the U.S. for three months.
As a result, bedlam erupted at airports across the country, including at John F. Kennedy International Airport, with some arrivals either turned away and placed on the next available flight home, or detained by federal officials in the facility.
However, as Trump noted this week, EO 13769 “has been delayed by litigation.” The presidential action that the Jamaica Estates native inked on Monday revokes the original order.
Under the updated order, all foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – countries that “continue to present heightened risks to the security of the United States,” according to the presidential action – are barred from entering the United States. Additionally, all refugees, including from Syria, are banned from the U.S. for 120 days from March 16, the day the new EO goes into effect. All legal permanent residents of the U.S. are exempt from the so-called travel ban.
Iraq was conspicuously removed from the barred list. According to the updated Executive Order, “Iraq presents a special case… the close cooperative relationship between the United States and the democratically elected Iraqi government, the strong United States diplomatic presence in Iraq, the significant presence of United States forces in Iraq, and Iraq’s commitment to combat ISIS justify different treatment for Iraq.”
As expected, many elected New York officials voiced their disdain for the latest White House travel edict.
“If the President took a quick look around his own hometown he would see that we don’t need to discriminate to be safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “In fact, New York City’s inclusiveness helps make this the safest big city in America. Thankfully, the stroke of a pen in Washington won’t change our New York values and it won’t make us any less proud to be the ultimate city of immigrants.”
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) added, “This revised Executive Order banning travel from six predominately Muslim nations is just as un-American as President Trump’s previous attempt to single out migrants based upon their national origin. The White House clearly ignored the nation’s outrage generated by a similar ban issued last month. Vetting people on the basis of their place of birth, or their religious background is inhumane, and against the very core of what we stand for, as Americans. It is appalling that discriminatory actions such as this take place in our nation, one that was built by immigrants from all backgrounds. This ban breaks families apart, keeps talent from coming into our country, and interrupts students from completing their degrees. I believe this will do nothing to help protect our national security, and I will continue to fight this policy. I am hopeful that the federal courts will again strike down this unconscionable attack on immigrants, as I am certain that lawsuits will follow in the next few days.”