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Trump Explicitly Calls the Executive Order a ‘Ban’ in a Series of Tweets

Trump Explicitly Calls the Executive Order a ‘Ban’ in a Series of Tweets

As the old Trump Administration proverb goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, fail, fail again.”

Okay, so that might not actually be a proverb, but it should be: the blatantly racist and bigoted Trump Administration is back at it again with the Muslim Ban. The difference this time? The smokescreen is gone and Trump is finally calling it what it is.

In a series of tweets on Monday evening, Trump appeared to completely disregard his own administration’s feeble attempts to dissuade the public from calling his highly restrictive executive orders a “ban.” First issued in January and then revised in March, the ban is imposed on all refugees entering the country for 120 days and limits entry from six Muslim-majority countries to the United States for 90 days.

People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017

 

The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017

 

In any event we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017

 

That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017

These completely careless tweets come in the middle of a highly contentious judicial battle challenging the constitutionality of the ban. Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed a brief late Thursday asking the Supreme Court to reinstate the ban despite the fact that the 4th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond voted 10-3 that the ban was unconstitutional in May. Another injunction, issued by the Ninth Circuit Court in Hawaii, is still awaiting a verdict.

In a series of tweets on Monday evening, Trump appeared to completely disregard his own administration’s feeble attempts to dissuade the public from calling his highly restrictive executive orders a “ban.”

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Trump’s statements fly in the face of his Press and Homeland Security teams, which have repeatedly insisted that calling the ban a “ban” is a mischaracterization of its intentions. Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly himself has stated, “This is not a travel ban…This is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system.”

But the administration has in fact issued new policies regarding visa vetting that are completely separate from the travel ban executive orders as recently as May 23. The new restrictions come in the form of a questionnaire, which calls on U.S. visa applicants to provide not only additional biographical information such as addresses, employment and travel history from the past 15 years, but also their social media handles from the past five.

Beyond how problematic the ban is from a bureaucratic standpoint, academics have also raised concerns about the new visa restrictions, explaining that the U.S. already has one of the most restrictive visa vetting systems in the world.

The State Department has insisted not everyone will be required to submit the supplemental questionnaire, telling Reuters that only those “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities” will be subject to the new restrictions. Further, answering the new questions is purely voluntary — although not answering, of course, raises some giant red flags and may prevent visa applications from being approved, as the form itself points out.

Even worse, there seems to be no check on the consular officials who will be in charge of administering these questionnaires, which is especially concerning when one considers how many visas could now be arbitrarily rejected simply because of innocent memory mistakes as applicants are forced to remember all their handles and history from the past 15 years.

Beyond how problematic the ban is from a bureaucratic standpoint, academics have also raised concerns about the new visa restrictions, explaining that the U.S. already has one of the most restrictive visa vetting systems in the world. Delaying the process even more greatly increases the chances of deterring international students and other foreign academics from coming to the country, effectively making it a brain drain.

Whether these restrictions will also be subject to legal challenges from civil rights attorneys and activists remains to be seen.

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