CAIR, ACLU, and pro-immigration lawyers flock to airports, but scenes of chaos fail to materialize
By Edmund Kozak; LifeZette:
A revised version of President Trump’s travel ban went into effect Thursday night at approximately 8 p.m. with little of the drama or scenes of chaos that accompanied the original ban’s first implementation.
The implementation of the revised ban followed a Supreme Court decision to review the order fully in October and, in the meantime, lift a lower court’s injunction.
Under the revised ban, people from six countries identified as terror hot spots need to prove a “bona fide relationship” to a person in the U.S. or an U.S. “entity” — such as an American university or private company — in order to enter the U.S. with a visa.
In the case of familial relationships, parents, spouses, siblings, children, and sons or daughters-in-law are exempt from the ban. All visa applicants from the six countries who claim a relationship to a U.S. “entity” will be judged on a case-by-case basis, according to the administration.
While the first implementation of the ban saw havoc and confusion at airports as even visa holders were turned away at customs, the implementation Thursday went far smoother, as the State Department made clear that people who already had visas in hand were to be permitted through. “We expect business as usual at ports of entry starting at 8:00 p.m. tonight,” a senior administration official told ABC news earlier in the day.
Nevertheless, leftist lawyers and activists flocked to airports, ready to make a scene. In Los Angeles, a network of activist groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the controversial Center for American Islamic Relations, dispatched lawyers to assist immigrants in getting through U.S. customs.
“Attorneys will be assessing any impact on travelers who are seeking entry into the United States through Customs and Border Protection at LAX,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations had promised in a statement issued on Thursday prior to the ban’s implementation.
“They will be joined by organizers and activists who will be providing support for families who may be waiting for their loved ones,” the statement said. Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU reported protests at San Francisco International Airport.
But if the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the injunction is any indication, activist groups protesting the ban are wasting their time. “The primary responsibility of the president of the United States is the safety of the American public,” said Dave Ray, director of communications for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
“If the President has any suspicions about any certain person posing dangers, he has clear authority to bar them from entry to the United States,” Ray told LifeZette.
“We also know that the vetting system is in disarray, and in order to assess what kind of shape it’s in and fine-tune it — and prevent incidents in the United States like we’ve seen on TV in Britain — we need to ensure that the vetting system is tough, effective and efficient,” he added.
In addition to the ban itself, Trump’s reinstated executive order also implements a 120-day suspension on taking in refugees and sets a limit of 50,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017.
The same exemptions that apply to those from the countries on the ban list also apply to refugees, however, and in addition refugees proving a “bona fide” connection are also exempted from the 50,000 cap. As of last night a total of 49,009 refugees had been permitted to enter the United States in fiscal year 2017.
The six countries affected by the travel ban itself are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
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