Original Intent to Discriminate Remains and Is Now Indefinite
A Statement from Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA)
President Donald Trump buried on a Sunday afternoon announcement of his new travel restrictions on visitors primarily from Muslim-majority countries just as the key portion of his prior travel ban was due to expire. This is the third time the administration has attempted the ban. In this iteration, there is no end date; its restrictions have no time limit, making it more insidious than prior versions.
The new ban places various entry bans on immigrant visas for people from eight countries: Chad, Libya, Yemen, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, and very limited Venezuelans. Sudan is no longer included in the ban. It goes into effect immediately for people from the six Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen), and in mid-October for those from Chad (also majority-Muslim), North Korea, and Venezuela.
“The recklessness of this president is overwhelming and disturbingly dangerous,” said Ramla Sahid, executive director of the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans. “Tweeting casually about annihilating 24 million people in North Korea, failing to address white supremacist actions here in our own country, and then trying to paint ordinary Muslims fleeing extraordinary adversity as the bogeyman is unfair, unwise, and un-American.”
This re-do of the Trump Administration’s original travel ban and its attempted replacement, still embody the discriminatory rhetoric he first tested out on the campaign trail. One of his first acts as President was to impose a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Today’s version now expands that ban to other immigrant communities for which he has similarly expressed open antipathy and prejudice. The two prior versions were blocked by federal judges, though the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately allowed it to go into effect if the administration did not block people from entering who had a “bona fide” connection to the U.S., such as family or job offers.
“President Trump has made clear to all people of color that his bias and bigotry will continue to poison his policies, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, as long as he is in office,” said Sahid. “Dividing our country on the basis of fear doesn’t ‘make America great again;’ in fact, it makes us weak. Most Americans reject his premise, and understand that only by uniting behind our shared core values and principles will we be the ‘more perfect union’ we strive to be.”
PANA rejects the president’s underlying argument about the need for the ban. President Trump seeks to stereotype communities of color and intimate that they are inherently suspicious or dangerous. The American people see through this fear-mongering. As the entire country witnessed in January when the first ban was announced, Americans of all colors, religions, ethnicities, and national origins stood together to denounce President Trump’s Muslim ban and the bigotry that inspired it.
PANA will all be reviewing the specific details of the new restrictions on travelers, but the original intent of the administration’s first ban remains clear. Indeed, Trump announced just last week that he wanted a “larger, tougher, more specific” ban. This is yet another reason the executive branch should not be addressing this issue; it is the responsibility of the United States Congress to develop comprehensive immigration reform through a deliberative and transparent process.
All of us want to be safe and secure in our communities here in the United States. But we want to be safe and buoyed by constitutional protections and by the country’s commitment to fairness, dignity, and respect for all.
The U.S. Supreme Court has canceled oral arguments that were set for next month on President Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order. The Court removed the case from its oral argument calendar while both sides file new briefs on the impact of the new directive. PANA will hold a public conversation the evening of Wednesday, October 10, 2017, 5:30 p.m., with a legal analysis and reactions from affected community members.