Trump’s first attempt at a Muslim ban was almost immediately a disaster that quickly lost in court. Now the Trump administration is allegedly trying again, this time with a new executive order far more limited in scope.
This order, according to the Washington Post, is limited to new visas for travelers from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, which have had new visa orders suspended for 90 days. Those six were on the original unconstitutional order, but this new one omits Iraq, presumably due to the flood of complaints from veterans that Iraqi civilians who worked with U.S. military were at risk. The United States’ current refugee program has been suspended for 120 days and will have its cap lowered from 110,000 civilians to 50,000 civilians when it resumes.
Elsewhere, the Trump administration’s is ending “premium processing” of H-1B visas, which allow companies to bring in foreign workers in specialty roles. The administration will likely face the anger of the tech industry, which uses these visas regularly. H-1Bs will still be issued but the process will be much slower.
The main question for the Trump administration is whether this executive order can survive the inevitable legal challenge, and it seems likely the answer is “no.” Part of what undid the first order was the fact that he and surrogates publicly referred to this as a “Muslim ban,” and it’s difficult to see how the new order can overcome that perception, especially when it omits countries Trump has business interests in. Unless or until the Trump administration accepts immigration is far more complicated than just good and bad “hombres,” it likely will be frustrated in court.