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‘Muslim Ban 2.0’ Remains Unconstitutional Threat to American Safety and Values

New York, N.Y. – Today, the Trump administration issued a new executive order banning the travel of residents of six Muslim-majority countries to the United States for a period of 90 days and suspending the refugee admissions program for 120 days. The new order is a revised version of the ban issued on January 27th, which was blocked by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. While narrower in some respects than the previous version, the new order still singles out Muslim travelers without providing any evidence of a national security threat.

The new order removes Iraq from the list of countries from which was travel was banned in the original order, exempts those with green cards and current visa holders, and omits language from the previous order that would have established a preference within the refugee program for “minority” religions. But the crux of the order remains in place: travelers from a group of Muslim-majority countries will be barred from the U.S., despite any evidence that immigrants and visitors from these countries pose a heightened risk of terrorism.

“The new order is still a Muslim ban and it is still unconstitutional,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. “The government is not allowed to favor one faith over another. Even though the new order does not obviously discriminate against Islam, courts will look at the purpose behind its provisions and President Trump has publicly and repeatedly proclaimed that he wants to ban Muslims from the United States.”

“This is a transparent effort to put lipstick on a pig,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. “The American people and the courts are not likely to be fooled. There was no national security justification for a travel ban on January 27, and nothing has happened in the weeks since then to create one. Banning people from this country on the basis of their religion is against everything this country stands for. Bigotry does not make us safer.”

Brennan Center experts are available to comment on the executive orders and their legal and practical implications for all Americans. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Naren Daniel at (646) 292-8381 or naren.daniel@nyu.edu.

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