Moments after Donald Trump's new Muslim ban was announced, the legal group that feverishly worked to combat the original ban issued its assessment of Trump's new Islamophobic masterpiece:
"The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban," said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.
The ACLU is now "moving quickly" to amend existing lawsuits that will still apply to the new ban in order to block it from moving forward. In a new blog post titled “We’ll see you in court, 2.0,” the ACLU further explained its rationale:
If a Muslim Ban is cleaned up to exclude Iraq, exempt lawful permanent residents and other current visa holders, is it still a Muslim ban? [...]
First, it continues to target only countries that are predominantly Muslim. All of the six countries targeted for the immigration ban are over 90 percent Muslim. Second, it does so without a valid security justification. Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security recently concluded that an individual’s “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity” and that “few of the impacted countries [under the EO] have terrorist groups that threaten the West.” Third, on February 21, White House advisor Stephen Miller explained that any changes to the first executive order would be “mostly minor, technical differences … Fundamentally, you are still going to have the same, basic policy outcome for the country.” Exempting lawful permanent residents and others with visas does nothing to alter the purpose or design of disfavoring a specific religion. [...]
President Trump, we’ll see you in court.
That sentiment has been echoed by the Yale Law School Clinic (which filed one of the first legal challenges to Trump's ban), New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and Bob Ferguson, the attorney general who filed the boldest challenge to Trump's ban, effectively grinding it to a halt.
By rescinding his earlier Executive Order, President Trump makes one thing perfectly clear: His original travel ban was indefensible — legally, constitutionally and morally. The President has capitulated on numerous key provisions blocked by our lawsuit, including bans on Green Card holders, visa holders and dual citizens, an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, and explicit preferences based on religion. We are carefully reviewing the new Executive Order to determine its impacts on Washington State and our next legal steps.
In his off-camera press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer denied that revoking the first ban was an admission that it wasn’t lawful. For his part, Ferguson called Trump’s move a “total capitulation” at his briefing.
But it seems pretty clear now that Ferguson and others overwhelmingly won 1.0. Stay tuned.