President Donald Trump has signed into Law a Proclamation that states from today, there will now be eight countries to which a travel ban applies. The second Executive Order that he signed in March that detailed travel restrictions is due to expire on October 10th, and for much of its “lifespan” was held up by temporary injunctions granted by lower appellate courts.
The new orders are being described as “court-proof.”
The details of the new restrictions are wide-ranging and carry options for waivers in each nation’s case. Sudan has been removed from the list entirely, and the newcomers include Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. While it is understood that in the case of Chad it is a similar type of restriction to the original order, the actions on Venezuela and North Korea are very different.
The order does not restrict entry from Venezuela by regular citizens, but from those in government and their families. The President is seeking to send a very strong signal to the world that those who engage in “destructive socialism” will find no succor within the U.S. from their mistakes.
North Korea is a special case. While there is presently zero immigration from the isolated country, adding it to the list sends yet another message that relations between the two countries are in need of serious work.
The reason given for putting forward the new Executive Order is, of course, security. The administration says that these eight nations “remain deficient… with respect to their identity-management and information-sharing capabilities, protocols, and practices.” In practice, this means that each country has a track record of allowing bad elements (in some cases terrorists) to use forged or stolen documents to infiltrate other nations. This has been proven by the admittance of Jihadists to Europe using false documents (or no documents at all in some cases) who have then gone on to commit terrorist acts. ISIS warned two years ago that they would flood Europe with half a million Jihadi fighters during the “migrant crisis.”
Critics are arguing that this is “still a Muslim ban.” However, opponents will find that harder to argue as the restrictions include countries that have negligible Muslim populations. In fact, the travel ban does not in any way impact 85% of the world’s Muslim population.
It is likely that court challenges to President Trump’s new travel ban order will begin almost immediately. Such challenges will likely find their way to the 9th Circuit (which has a reputation for being sympathetic to “progressive causes”). Yet even if the judges rule against the administration, the Supreme Court will likely, once again, overturn their decisions. While being viewed a sympathetic to progressive causes and anti-Trump, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is also the most overturned lower court.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.