Trump’s new Muslim ban already faces push back

President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order temporarily banning all refugees, as well as people from six majority-Muslim countries, from entering the United States, Democracy Now! said on March 7.

In contrast to the fanfare that accompanied Trump’s rollout of January’s ill-fated travel ban, the March 6 signing was a decidedly low-key event. Trump signed the executive order out of public view.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later outlined the details. The new ban applies to people from Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen, but, unlike the original ban, not those from Iraq. Trump’s first Muslim travel ban was blocked by the courts in February amid massive nationwide protests.

Unlike the first ban, the new executive order will not apply to people from the six countries with green cards or who already have a visa.

Immigration and human rights advocates say the new ban still discriminates against Muslims and fails to address some of their concerns with the previous order.

Speaking to Democracy Now!, Nihad Awad from the Council on American-Islamic Relations said: “This new executive order still stigmatises the faith of Islam and Muslims. It does not make America any safer but does make America less great.

“This Muslim order still blocks travel to the US by citizens from six Muslim-majority countries. CAIR continues to receive reports of unconstitutional and systematic ideological questioning of American Muslim citizens and foreign travellers by [US Customs and Border Patrol] about their religious values and political views.”

Common Dreams reported on March 8 that Hawaii filed the first legal challenge to the revised travel ban the previous day, asking a judge to temporarily block the order.

The challenge was filed by the office of Hawaii Attorney-General Doug Chin. It says the order is “inflicting immediate damage to Hawaii’s economy, educational institutions and tourism industry; and it is subjecting a portion of the state's citizens to second-class treatment and discrimination, while denying all Hawaii residents the benefits of an inclusive and pluralistic society”.

Common Dreams said: “Hawaii asked Judge Derrick K. Watson for an expedited hearing on the motion to file the temporary restraining order. If he agrees, the court will be able to hear the state's arguments before the ban goes into effect on March 16.”

“It's about discrimination,” Chin told the media. “It’s discriminating against people based on their national origin or based on their religion. It’s disenfranchising people who are not of the majority race or majority religion.

“It puts them in a place that smears their culture or a religion that is not accepted by everyone else. And that’s wrong.”