It looks like Trump’s second travel ban is going to be as popular as his first one. Washington state has officially joined the fight by asking a federal judge to block the new legislation. Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New York are also challenging the executive order.
According to Washingtonians (and a lot of other people), the travel ban continues to discriminate against both Muslims and political refugees that desperately need a safe place to live. The ban has inspired waves of protest around the country, uniting people against growing Islamophobia.
While the second version of the travel ban is longer and more thoroughly explained, it’s not drastically different from the first one. Iraq is now excluded from the list of countries blocked, making it a “six country travel ban.” It’s still not supposed to affect people with green cards or travelers who already have visas, but all refugees would be temporarily blocked from entering the United States.
Bob Ferguson, Washington state’s attorney general, said that the changes are not enough:
“There are still constitutional problems with core provisions. It cannot be a game of whack-a-mole.”
In fact, Ferguson argues, the two versions of the travel ban are so similar that Washington’s current restraining order should cover both:
“The language is virtually identical … This is not a new lawsuit — we’re saying that underlying injunction is still under effect on core provisions (of the executive order).”
Luckily, White House spokesman Sean Spicer was there to offer vague words of comfort as usual, saying:
“We’re going to go forward on this. We feel very confident with how that was crafted and the input that was given.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions also predictably defended the travel ban, saying:
“We cannot compromise our nation’s security by allowing visitors entry when their own governments are unable or unwilling to provide the information we need to vet them responsibly, or when those governments actively support terrorism.”
This is certainly not the first time that Islamophobia has been promoted under the guise of fighting terrorism, and it will not be the last. It’s up to free-thinking people everywhere to acknowledge and combat this political strategy whenever we come across it.
Featured Image via CNN.