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This travel ban is no better than the first

Targeting travellers from Muslim-majority countries is illegal and infringes on the constitutional rights of individuals
Gulf News

The words on the presidential seal of the United States ought to be changed to: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. Certainly, that’s the case when it comes to Donald Trump and his misguided efforts to try an implement a sectarian travel ban on those coming from Muslim-majority nations. On Monday, Trump re-issued his controversial travel ban, now allowing in visitors from Iraq but still banning citizens from Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iran and Syria.

Within days of taking office, Trump issued the first version of this bigoted and racist ban, causing confusion for travellers worldwide and even barring legitimate Green Card holders and those with dual passports from the nations on his designated hit and hate list. It showed his true colours, creating a civil rights’ frenzy and outpouring of support from Americans for those targeted in the ban.

Indeed, within hours of it being implemented, courts from coast to coast were inundated with applicants seeking injunctions against Trump’s executive order. Those were given, with justices of all political stripes having little inclination to legally enforce a ban that violated federal and state laws, and was also likely repugnant to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Since he introduced the initial ban, there was an immediate effect on travel, with latest figures showing a 6.5 per cent decline in passengers to the US from the Middle East. The Ninth Appeals Circuit issued a halt, effectively ending the ban. It also heaped scorn on the president’s argument that the ban was a security measure to prevent terror strikes from citizens of those nations. No one from those nations had been convicted of a terror offence in the US.

Trump’s reaction was that of an admonished schoolchild, and the president’s petulance knew no bounds with his lashing out on Twitter at bad justices who were weakening America and who should be blamed if indeed there was a terror strike.

Trump hasn’t learnt his lesson. This new travel ban has been remodelled with a veneer of reason, yet it is nothing but the same principles enshrined in a new executive order.

When will President Trump get it that you cannot target citizens on the basis of religion? This is a ban on Muslims, plain and simple. It will fail before the courts once more, simply because it is bad law, illegal and immoral.

Trump is just showing his ignorance and bigotry once more.

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