Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Midday Edition

Trump's Revised Order Affects Six Muslim-Majority Countries, Suspends Refugee Program

President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 1, 2017.
Associated Press
President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 1, 2017.
Trump's New Order Affects Six Muslim-Majority Countries And Suspends Refugee Program
Trump's New Order Affects Six Muslim-Majority Countries And Suspends Refugee Program GUEST: Dan Eaton, legal analyst

Will the new Trump administration travel ban hold up to legal scrutiny? A drug indictment chase the trafficking of drugs along the border. This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. It is Monday, March 6. Our top story critics of the president's new executive order travel ban say although details have change the essence of the order is still unconstitutional. Administration officials say the order, which temporally bans trouble for residents of Iran, Libya, Syria, and refugees entering the U.S. for four months will stand up to legal scrutiny. The department of justice believes that this Executive Order just as the first Executive Order is a lawful and proper exercise of presidential authority. This Department of Justice will defend and enforce lawful orders of the president consistent with the core principles. The -- that was a U.S. official. Joining me is Dan Eaton. House of to figure -- there are changes. The most important is they eliminate what was on the face of the visa holders and the citizens from the face of the order it also eliminates other religious preference for those who are persecuted, which was supposed to be directed at Christians. Another change is the delay which allows for a more orderly implementation. The new order is much longer, therefore more detailed about how it will be implemented. That is a challenge of the initial order. Attorneys for the Justice Department were conspicuously unable to answer questions about why this ban was needed. That was the first ban. Does this new Executive Order give a better explanation? It does it. When you look at the information it talks about 300 people from abroad having been subject to criminal process and that seems to provide some of the evidence that the United circuit side was lacking from the order. But is it going to be enough? That is not clear. Relies that it has been several weeks since the original order was implemented. The original order was implemented on an emergency basis and now the question is whether the order that is issued that much further down the road still is responding to an emergency. Does this new order give the administration more protection against the charge that this is in essence the Muslim ban that he talked about his campaign? Yes, but that is relative. The question is whether Mr. Trump about what motivated the executive order that is to say a Muslim ban to make it legal. Somehow it taints the original Executive Order but the future Executive Order. Is a spot that will -- or do we start fresh with this new order Mark you can see his countries are still Muslim countries and a judge on the panel pointed out that you are still talking about the -- Since his new travel ban excludes green card holders and those with valid visas, does it limit the number of potential plaintiffs who would've legal standing? Because you just eliminated two class of people that could challenge the order, but the question remains as to whether the order embraces people who have due process or constitutional rights to be heard before they can be excluded or whether Tash American citizens will want some of these people to come over would have standing to challenge. I suspect that you're going to find plaintiffs who can challenge this. Nothing else you will find states were going to continue to challenges on the grounds of the Executive Order Effexor economies in a way that gives them the right to challenge the details. There was a Department of Homeland Security memo leaked to the press that indicated that the small number of immigrants who become erotic lies become radicalized when they are in this country. So no additional vetting of people will be effective. With that kind of information be a valid argument against this and back in court? It could be but you have to look at that as a backdrop of the authority that the president has with respects to excluding immigrants. It's really going to be President Donald Trump argument. It is going to defend this new Executive Order. When the initial Executive Order was announced he did not have an attorney general of his own. You can expect that the arguments of this new executive orders will be robust and going to reflect the changes that were made in this new order. Just some kind of housecleaning question. Is a legal challenge against that first Ramallah -- travel ban over question mark They will make the argument but whether this moves the original challenge or whether they have to file a new challenge, there will be a challenge. What are the differences between this Executive Order and the earlier one is at this went is been playing out in the press. You can expect that since this was not an unexpected order that many of the papers challenging this new order have already been drafted. You can expect to see something no later than next week. I would not be surprised to see a challenge file before this week is out. I been speaking with Dan Eaton a legal analyst .

Trump’s Revised Order Affects Six Muslim-Majority Countries, Suspends Refugee Program
Without fanfare, President Donald Trump signed a scaled-back version of his controversial ban on many foreign travelers Monday, hoping to avoid a new round of lawsuits and outrage while fulfilling a central campaign promise.

Without fanfare, President Donald Trump signed a scaled-back version of his controversial ban on many foreign travelers Monday, hoping to avoid a new round of lawsuits and outrage while fulfilling a central campaign promise. His order still bars new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily shuts down America's refugee program.

The revised order, signed with none of the flourish of his first version, eliminates some of the most contentious aspects in an effort to surmount the court challenges that are sure to come. Trump's first order, issued just a week after his inauguration, was halted by federal courts.

RELATED: Trump’s Revised Travel Order, Annotated

Trump's Revised Order Affects Six Muslim-Majority Countries, Suspends Refugee Program

The new one leaves Iraq off the list of banned countries — at the urging of U.S. military and diplomatic leaders — but still affects would-be visitors and immigrants from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya. It also makes clear that current visa holders will not be impacted, and it removes language that would give priority to religious minorities — a provision some interpreted as a way to help Christians get into the U.S. while excluding Muslims.

The changes underscore the very different position the president finds himself in.

Five weeks ago, Trump dropped the first order with a bang, catching lawmakers and members of his administration by surprise. He signed the order in a high-profile ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes as Secretary of Defense James Mattis stood by.

Local organizations offering services and information on immigration:

Border Patrol/Checkpoints:

Alianza Comunitaria - Facebook

Southern Border Communities Coalition


Alliance San Diego - RiseTogether (619-363-3423)

Immigrant rights:

ACLU San Diego (619-232-2121)

ACLU - TSA Complaints

Immigration lawyers:

Casa Cornelia (619-231-7788)


Budget Immigration Center (858-550-0121)


Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA) (619-732-6793)

International Rescue Committee (619-641-7510)

Jewish Family Services

This time around, the president skipped the usual public ceremony altogether. Instead, the administration chose to have Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions serve as the public faces of the rollout at a brief press announcement.

RELATED: Where Do Members Of Congress Stand On Trump’s Immigration Order?


"I think today was about the implementation of it," said Press Secretary Sean Spicer — at a briefing off camera.

Legal experts say the new order addresses some of the constitutional concerns raised by a federal appeals court about the initial ban but leaves room for more legal challenges.

"It's much clearer about how it doesn't apply to groups of immigrants with more clearly established constitutional rights," said University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck. "That's a really important step."

Trump officials say the goal hasn't changed: keeping would-be terrorists out of the United States while the government reviews vetting systems for refugees and visa applicants from certain parts of the world.

Tillerson said, "It is the president's solemn duty to protect the American people, and with this order President Trump is exercising his rightful authority to keep our people safe."

The original travel ban led to instant chaos at airports as Homeland Security officials scrambled to interpret how it was to be implemented and some travelers were detained before being sent back overseas or blocked from getting on airplanes abroad. The order quickly became the subject of several legal challenges and was put on hold last month by a federal judge in Washington state.

RELATED: San Diego Supporters Join Nationwide ‘March 4 Trump’

The president repeatedly insisted he would continue to fight for the original order in court, even as aides worked to craft a new one. In the end, they chose to rescind the old order — though Spicer maintained the first was "100 percent legal and constitutional."

Notably absent from Trump's revised ban are repeated references to the death toll from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Critics of the original had noted the president appeared to use those attacks as evidence of danger from certain foreigners despite the fact that none of the men who hijacked jetliners that day were from any of the seven banned countries.

House Speaker Paul Ryan commended the administration and Secretary Kelly "for their hard work on this measure to improve our vetting standards."

"This revised executive order advances our shared goal of protecting the homeland," Ryan said.

The new order won't take effect until March 16, despite repeat warnings from Trump and his aides that any delay would put national security at risk by allowing the entry of "bad 'dudes'" who want to cause harm to the country.

The new order does not address concerns raised in a Homeland Security intelligence analysis obtained last month by The Associated Press that concluded there was insufficient evidence that citizens of the originally banned countries posed a terror threat to the U.S. The administration has played down the significance of that report.

Trump's new order reinstates his four-month ban on all refugees from around the world and keeps in place his plan to reduce the number of refugees to be let into the United States this budget year to 50,000. Syrians are also no longer subjected to an indefinite ban, despite Trump's insistence as a candidate that they pose a serious security threat.

Removing language that would give priority to religious minorities helps address concerns that the initial ban was discriminatory, but its continued focus on Muslim-majority countries leaves the appearance that the order is a "Muslim ban," Vladeck said.

"There's still going to be plenty of work for the courts to do," he said.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project said the group will move "very quickly" to try to block the new order from taking effect, either by amending the existing lawsuits that blocked Trump's original ban or seeking a new injunction.

"The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban," said Omar Jadwat, director of the project.

Tammy Lin, an immigration attorney in San Diego, said the revised order will affect people trying to enter the U.S. as refugees as well as thousands of refugees already living in San Diego because funding for resettlement programs will be cut.

“That means a lot of the refugees now here that have already been here for a few months or a few years may not have the support services they were hoping for or were used to because now the staff may have to be suspended or stop working for them," Lin said.

The San Diego office for the Council of American-Islamic Relations was one of the organizations that challenged the constitutionality of the original order in court, and won. Executive director Hanif Mohebi said the revised order is also unconstitutional because it also focuses on people from Muslim majority countries, including those with large populations in San Diego, such as Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Iran.

“In principle, it is unconstitutional," Mohebi said . "It’s wrong. You cannot discriminate based on someone’s religion."

Mohebi said his organization may challenge the revised order in court as well.

“All it is, all this repackaging means really nothing," Mohebi said. "It’s still the same Muslim ban – this is not making America any greater or any safer.”

San Diego accepts several thousand refugees a year, more than any other region in the state of California.