President Trump’s new order limiting travel to the U.S. by citizens of six majority-Muslim nations softened some of the original version’s objectionable pieces but still left the policy vulnerable to legal challenges, McClatchy Newspapers reports. The first order prompted more than two dozen lawsuits in federal courts from California and Washington state to Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Notably, the new order clarifies that it doesn’t apply to legal U.S. permanent residents and it does not appear to give special consideration to Christians. Clete Sampson, an immigration attorney formerly at the Department of Homeland Security, said courts may think the policy still fails to address due process and equal protection issues.
“The revised executive order is essentially old wine in a new bottle,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell University Law School professor who is co-author of a 21-volume treatise on immigration law. “It assumes that travelers from the six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees are inherent security risks. . . . The revised executive order will not quell litigation or concerns.” Trump’s initial order created chaos at U.S. airports as immigration and customs agents initially blocked the entry of all citizens from the seven countries, including those who had lived in the U.S. for years. The new order doesn’t go into effect until March 16, to allow for a smoother implementation and to prevent immediate legal challenges, said a senior administration official. “There are not going to be folks stopped tonight from coming into the country because of this executive order,” said the official.