Trump's revised Muslim ban has some key changes—but its biggest, most repugnant problem remains


With his first Muslim travel ban blocked by the courts, President Donald Trump signed a second, revised executive order temporarily blocking travel to the U.S. from six majority Muslim countries on Monday.

Unlike the first ban, the second one was signed in private, with little fanfare.

Here’s what you need to know about what’s new in the revised ban—and what’s still the same.

You can read the full text of the memo here.

Six, not seven, countries are affected

Under the new order, travel from six countries–Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen–is banned for 90 days after the order takes effect on March 16. Iraq, which was included in the first order, is no longer on the list. In public remarks on Monday morning, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised Iraq as a critical ally in US efforts to fight ISIS.

Green card holders can still come

There are some exemptions to this blanket ban.

Legal permanent residents, or green card holders, will not be barred from re-entering the country under the new order. Amid the mass confusion caused by the botched rollout of the first directive, permanent residents were subjected to additional screening or turned away on a case-by-case basis, sowing anxiety among immigrant communities.

Non-citizens with valid visas issued before Jan. 27, the date Trump signed the first order, will be allowed to travel to the U.S.

Refugees are still banned—but rules around Syria have been changed

No refugees will be allowed to enter the country for 120 days, although the new order does not specify that Syrian refugees be barred indefinitely, as was the case with the first mandate.

Trump also issued a memo laying out a comprehensive review of the country’s procedures for vetting people seeking to come to America, including “immediate” heightened scrutiny of issuing visas.

Appearing with Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly pushed Trump’s narrative that immigrants and refugees from around the world are pouring into the U.S. without any safeguards in place. (In reality, refugees already undergo a rigorous process of background checks, in person interviews, and further review, which can take years to complete.)

“Unregulated, unvetted travel is not a universal privilege, especially when national security is at stake,” Kelly said. None of the administration officials took questions from the press.

It’s still a Muslim ban

No matter what changes have been enacted to make the ban more legally palatable, the fact remains that this is still an order which specifically restricts travel from six majority-Muslim countries—just like the last one.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which led the legal fight against the first incarnation of Trump’s ban, condemned the latest order as a “scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws” in a statement.

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