Trump signed a revised executive order claiming to "protect the nation from foreign terrorist entry" Monday, the White House said. The revised order would impose a "temporary pause" on the entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Though the revised order bars new visas from those in the aforementioned "Muslim-majority countries," the Associated Press notes that the new order excludes Iraq. "Iraq presents a special case," the order claims. Citing the "close cooperative relationship" between the United States and the Iraqi government, Trump's new order says the country has earned "different treatment."
The revised order, the AP explained, differs from the widely protested "Muslim ban" first introduced in January. The revision removes language giving "priority" to religious minorities, for example. But the order's intentions, according to an immediate response from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), remain the same:
"The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible," Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants Rights Project, said in a statement Monday. "Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws. The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban."
In a separate statement, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman reminded Trump that he's "not above the Constitution." Schneiderman’s office, he said, is closely reviewing the revised order and is prepared to litigate again to "protect New York's families, institutions, and economy."
Oxfam America president Raymond Offenheiser, in an emailed statement to Complex Monday, condemned the order's targeting of vulnerable refugees. "The unprecedented 120 day closure of the refugee resettlement program poses a real threat to the lives of refugees," Offenheiser said. "Given the multiple, overlapping and time-sensitive medical and security screens imposed by the process, refugees effectively have only a two month window to travel once their screens are complete before screens begin to expire. The shutdown of the program essentially resets the clock and sends thousands of refugees already vetted by our nation's security experts back to the end of the line. Given the peril in which refugees live, this is extra time that many simply do not have."
The order arrives two days after Trump, without evidence, accused former POTUS Barack Obama of tapping his phone. Confusingly, Trump immediately followed those tweeted wiretapping accusations with yet another aside about his former home, The Apprentice.