The so-called Muslim Ban 2.0 modifies and replaces the original, which was suspended last month by a federal court, to avoid another injunction. The executive order suspends all refugee admissions for four months and reduces the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. from 110,000 to 50,000 per year. It also prohibits Syrians, Iranians, Somalis, Libyans, Yemenis and Sudanese from entering the U.S.
The prohibition on Iraqis, however, has been removed, an amendment that occurred after marked protests from the government in Baghdad, which remains a “strategic ally” in America’s operations in the Middle East. Arbitrary discrimination isn’t conducive to that relationship.
The ban on Iraqis had caused quite a stir, especially among veterans. U.S. Army collaborators, including translators during operations in Iraq, had been promised asylum. But last month, despite having travel documents in hand, some were refused visas upon arrival at the airport.
But the “protection” for Iraqis simply underlines the arbitrariness of the decree. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday recited the official justification: “It is the president’s solemn duty to protect the American people,” a motive predicated on the fallacy of the “immigrant terrorist.”