‘Muslim Ban 2.0': Revised Travel Order Draws Protests, Raises Fears Among Immigrants

President Donald Trump's administration rolled out a new travel ban aimed at overcoming the legal challenges of the first executive order, but intended to accomplish the same stated goal: keeping would-be terrorists out of the United States. The president’s revisions on Monday did little to halt criticism from Democrats and immigrants' advocates, who say the new travel order is as unconstitutional as the first order.

"We don't see any difference," Wilfredo Ruiz, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida, told NBC South Florida. He said the "purpose was to manipulate the order to make it appear legal." 

The new travel order differs from the first in several significant ways. This time around, the executive order doesn’t go into effect immediately, giving the world time to assess its impact and avoiding the chaos sparked by the old.

The revised order makes clear that U.S. green card holders are allowed to travel into the country, which was ambiguous in Trump’s original order. 

The executive order takes Iraq off the list of countries subjected to a 90-day travel ban. But it still bars the issuance of new visas to citizens from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen. The ban no longer applies to people who have already obtained valid U.S. visas.

It also removes language that gave priority to refugees who are religious minorities in their home countries, a provision that critics say in effect gave Christians an advantage and excluded Muslims.

The revised ban has done little to quell fears of Muslims who live in the United States.

CAIR Florida's Ruiz, whose organization represents 700,000 Muslims in the state, said members are still scared to travel outside the U.S. and not be able to return or have their work visas not be honored. 

Many others are concerned about how the new travel ban will affect family members from the banned countries.

"It's heartbreaking to know that if, God forbid, my family needs to escape, that they now are not necessarily going to be welcomed," said Ramah Kudaimi, who was born in the U.S. to Syrian parents, NBC Washington reported.

According to NECN, Mohammed Al-Bardan's brother was hoping to come to the U.S. from Syria to study dentistry in Boston, a dream that he now may not fulfill. Al-Bardan is unable to visit his family in Syria because he is still waiting for his green card to be approved.

"He's hurting people trying to make a name for himself, and he's bringing a lot of pain to people," said Virginia resident Deanna Bayer.

Farbod Papen owns Saffron & Rose, a Persian ice cream shop in Los Angeles, California, that his grandfather opened nearly 40 years ago. Papen's grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Iran in 1974. Today, Saffron & Rose is one of dozens of businesses in an enclave of Persian commerce in Westwood.

“Think about all the businesses that wouldn’t have started had this ban been in place four years ago," Papen said.

Outside the White House Monday evening, protesters gathered to express opposition to the new travel ban, calling it "Muslim ban 2.0."

Patricio Provitina, an Argentinian national who lives in D.C., said he hoped the president would hear the crowd and their messages, NBC affiliate WTOP reported.

“As an immigrant, as a Latino, I am completely opposed to what he is doing,” Provitina said.

The demonstrators were joined by the new leader of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, who called on the protesters to continue to speak up about the immigration order.

“America is at its best when we are building bridges of opportunity, and not walls of distrust,” Perez said.  

While President Trump and his team say the order is vital to national security, others are worried about the impact on refugees. Part of the new executive order reduces the number of refugees coming to the U.S. from 110,000 to 50,000.

"We are breaking our promise to 60,000 refugees who we were going to bring to this country and now they're going to be left in danger and desperate," Chris George, executive director of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven, told NBC Connecticut. "This comes at a time when the world is facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel mirrored George's sentiments in a statement, calling the ban a "betrayal of our nation's values that our government would slam the door on refugees fleeing war, death and unimaginable conditions, that our government would divide families, and that our government would attempt to exclude people based on their religion.”

New York's attorney general said he was ready to contest the order, while Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer demanded its repeal.

“A watered down ban is still a ban,” Schumer said. “Despite the administration’s changes, this dangerous executive order makes us less safe, not more, it is mean-spirited, and un-American. It must be repealed."

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