Trump's New Travel Ban Attempts to Prove It's Not Anti-Muslim

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Starting Sept. 1, the Trump administration has barred Americans from traveling to the North, after a US student was sent home in a coma and later died after more than a year in detention in the North. The announcement Sunday came on the same day that Trump's temporary ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries was set to expire.

Unlike the first iteration of Trump's travel ban, which sparked chaos at airports across the country and a flurry of legal challenges after being hastily written with little input outside the White House, officials stressed they had been working for months on the new rules, in collaboration with various agencies and in conversation with foreign governments. "We will not admit those into our country we can not safely vet", he said.

Trump's new order directs travel restrictions to stay in place until the named countries work to meet certain baseline security requirements set by the Department of Homeland Security - metrics that could be unattainable for countries without the proper technological advancements.

The criteria for the new ban list is now based on vetting procedures and co-operation, and the restrictions have now been "tailored" on a country-by-country basis.

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The U.S. Supreme Court Sept. 25 canceled an upcoming hearing on the constitutionality of President Donald Trump's travel ban after government officials unveiled the night before a new expanded version of the travel prohibitions. The newest ban also bars North Koreans and Venezuelan government officials.

The Sunday proclamation could be less vulnerable to legal attack, scholars and other experts said, because it is the result of a months-long analysis of foreign vetting procedures by US officials. The matter will be ultimately decided when the Supreme Court hears arguments on the merits of the executive order in October. Senior administration officials said a review of Sudan's cooperation with the USA government on national security and information-sharing showed it was appropriate to remove it from the list. Last week, Kim called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard" in response to Trump's threats to "totally destroy" the North. Trump later said Kim is "obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people".

That includes: having previously worked or studied in the U.S.; having previously established "significant contacts" in the U.S.; and having "significant business or professional obligations" in the U.S. Still, officials acknowledged the waiver restrictions were narrower than the exemptions for people with bona fide ties to the United States that the Supreme Court mandated before the expiring order went into effect in late June.

Most citizens of Chad, Libya and Yemen will be blocked from emigrating to or visiting the United States because the countries do not have the technical capability to identify and screen their travelers, and in many cases have terrorist networks in their countries, officials said. For example, while Iran remains on the list of countries with travel restrictions, student and exchange visas are an exception. The fact that Trump has added North Korea - with few visitors to the U.S. - and a few government officials from Venezuela doesn't obfuscate the real fact that the administration's order is still a Muslim ban. As ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero stated: "Six of President Trump's targeted countries are Muslim".

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