Trump’s revised travel ban deserves criticism, but it’s not a “Muslim ban”

President Donald Trump pauses on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, during his address to a joint session of Congress. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)

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President Donald Trump issued his revised travel ban on Monday, after the order he issued in January was largely struck down in federal court. The president’s new ban prevents entry from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, but exempts Iraq, which was included in the last directive.

In addition to removing Iraq from the list, the new ban clearly allows green card holders and those with valid visas issued to enter the country. It also expands circumstances to grant waivers for reentry into the country for those with ties to the U.S. from those countries.

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President Trump’s critics were out in full force blasting the revised travel ban. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent out several tweets.

The ACLU also labeled it a “Muslim ban.”

President Trump’s travel ban is many things, but “racist” or a “Muslim ban” it is not. For starters, “Muslim” is not a race; it is a religion. Also, if this new order was a “Muslim ban,” it is a poor one. Countries with large Muslim populations, such as India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, are excluded.

Still, this ban, like the first one, is a cruel and ineffective way to make America safer.

It’s cruel because it continues to ban new refugee admissions for 120 days. The only exception would be for religious minorities fleeing persecution. That means if you are a political dissident from Cuba or North Korea, you could not enter the country as a refugee.

The blanket refugee ban also simply doesn’t make sense. Refugees are already subject to intense screening before entering the country. In addition, refugees helped build the country, and millions of Americans can trace their lineage to those who arrived in the U.S. due to persecution in their homelands.

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The travel ban will also fail to keep Americans safer because a few important countries are omitted. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, which have produced individuals who committed terrorist acts against the U.S., see no change in policy. On its face, the ban doesn’t make sense.

There is no right to travel to the United States, let alone to settle here. But at the same time, it does little good to enact irrational policies, and President Trump’s latest ban still goes too far.

What do you think?

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