TRUMP’S NEW TRAVEL BAN IS AS CONVOLUTED AS THE PREVIOUS ONE

As he had ‘amply indicated’ while reacting after the terror attack on London Tube or the city’s rapid transit system on September 15, he is now there, well in advance, with new and ‘tougher’ version of his government’s favourite but highly controversial policy decision.

Trump, though had denounced the terror attack and the attackers, he made his intentions clear when he went on defaming the London Police for being inactive and made a pitch for his government’s controversial travel ban plan that puts restrictions on migrants and refugees from some Muslim majority nations.

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!
4:24 PM – Sep 15, 2017

Unlike its previous version, Donald Trump’s new travel ban will now target two more countries – Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya are the old targets with new addition of Chad, North Korea and Venezuela while Sudan’s name has been struck off – and the new, tougher measures will come into effect from October 18.

Chad is again a Muslim country so the number of Muslim countries hasn’t come down from the previous tally of six.

The addition of North Korea and Venezuela have both possibilities.

The US North Korea relations have hit bottom with both countries threatening to wipe out each other. That may be a reason to put North Koreans under travel ban restrictions.

But how many North Koreans really travel to America? The US has no diplomatic relation with North Korea, no embassy, no consulate and the number of travellers between the countries are negligible.

Most North Koreans who end up in the US are those victims who somehow escape its brutal regime and concentration camps. The Trump Administration, in the zeal of its misplaced priorities, is now going to block them.

And Venezuela! The decision to include Venezuela can be termed a political one based on ideological differences. True, Venezuela is going through a phase of unrest with a communist dictator overtaking the country but then Venezuela is not going to be the first dictatorship or communist country the US would snap ties with. China is the biggest example of this dichotomy. The communist dictatorship is the largest trade partner of the US.

That leaves us to the natural conclusion then that the inclusion of North Korea and Venezuela in Trump’s scheme of things is just a cosmetic measure that falsely believes that doing so would convince the US courts and opponents – that the refurbished travel ban is aimed at broadening the travel ban from being exclusively anti-Muslim to anti-terrorism.

But the very inclusion of these two countries raises serious questions that it is again a convoluted version of a convoluted document that owes its origin to a convoluted thought process.

Donald Trump’s travel ban plan has always been controversial, right from its first introduction in January.

Following ban by various federal courts, the Trump administration was forced to dilute it but even the diluted version was rejected. It was finally given a go ahead by the US Supreme Court on June 26.

Accordingly, the travel ban plan that expired on September 24 targeted people from six Muslim majority nations for 90 days, i.e., Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and Somalia. It also put restrictions on all refugees for 120 days that is set to expire on October 24. The next Supreme Court hearing, which will deliberate on the legality of the travel ban plan, is set for October 10.

©SantoshChaubey

TRUMP’S RESPONSE ON LONDON ATTACK INDICATES HE IS GOING TO PITCH FOR EXTENDING HIS TRAVEL BAN

The article originally appeared on India Today.

US President Donald Trump sees opportunity in every development to sell his government’s decisions it seems. And the opportunity for him this time came after an attack on London Tube, the city’s urban transit system which the London Police is treating as terror attack. The fifth terror attack on London this year was carried out by a homemade bomb that left some travellers with facial burns.

Trump, though denounced the terror attack and the attackers, made his intentions clear when he went on defaming the London Police for being inactive and made a pitch for his government’s controversial travel ban plan that puts restrictions on migrants and refugees from some Muslim majority nations.

Trump’s reaction on the latest terror strike on London came in a series of tweets where he termed terrorists as losers and emphasised on the need to cut off and better regulate internet, their main recruitment tool.

Then he went on to make his sales pitch. Making a case for his travel ban plan, that is going to expire in October, Trump said that “the travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific – but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!”

His government’s travel ban plan has always been controversial, right from its first introduction in January. Following ban by various federal courts, the Trump administration was forced to dilute it but even the diluted version was rejected. The travel ban plan that targeted people from six Muslim majority nations for 90 days, i.e., Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and Somalia and all refugees for 120 days, was finally given a go ahead by the US Supreme Court on June 26.

That means Trump’s travel ban on the people of these six Muslim nations is set to expire on September 23 and his refugee ban on October 23. The next Supreme Court hearing, which will deliberate on the legality of the travel ban plan, is set for October 10.

And if Trump’s words are any indication, his administration may be planning to pitch for continuation of travel ban and its next version may be even tougher, free of the concerns of being politically correct.

After the London Bridge terror attack on June 3 that had left seven dead and dozens injured, Trump, while slamming, the re-drafted version of his administration’s travel ban order as an attempt to be “politically correct”, had commented that “the US Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to the US Supreme Court and the Justice Department should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down travel ban before the Supreme Court – and seek much tougher version.”

Comparing his government’s track record against the ISIS with his predecessor Barack Obama’s government, Trump says that “they have made more progress in the last nine months against the ISIS than the Obama Administration had made in eight years” and goes on to add that “the US must be proactive and nasty” in dealing with terrorists.

Trump would certainly by buoyed by the September 12 decision of the US Supreme Court in favour of his government’s travel ban plan where the apex court blocked a federal court’s decision to allow some 24,000 refugees with a resettlement agency contract who, otherwise, would have been allowed into the United States in October.

©SantoshChaubey

US SUPREME COURT ALLOWS TRAVEL BAN: IS DONALD TRUMP’S NEIL GORSUCH GAMBLE GOING TO PAY?

The article originally appeared on India Today.

The US Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to President Donald Trump by allowing his temporary bans on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees to go into effect for people with no connection to the United States while agreeing to hear his appeals in the closely watched legal fight.

The Trump administration had issued two versions of Donald Trump’s controversial executive order on travel ban, first on January 27 and then on March 6 but the federal courts expressed their strong reservations against the discriminatory nature of the order saying that they were in bad taste and were targeted against the Muslim community.

The US Supreme Court has accepted the emergency appeal by the Trump administration allowing travel ban on people from six Muslim majority nations for 90 days, i.e., Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and Somalia and all refugees for 120 days “who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” while the federal courts had completely blocked it.

DONALD TRUMP’S NEIL GORSUCH GAMBLE

Nominating judges in the US courts has always been the prerogative of the US President and his party. Trump wanted appellate judge Neil Gorsuch, a conservative, to fill the lone vacancy in the US Supreme Court. And with Gorsuch’s approval in April, after a long and bitterly fought confirmation process, Trump had what he wanted.

“Trump had vowed to choose ideologues in the mould of the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon – a prospect that had activists on the right giddy,” a Washington Post report had said. Antonin Scalia, a Ronald Reagan appointee to the US Supreme Court, was seen as a legal luminary but with a conservative mindset who vocally opposed gay rights and abortion.
Scalia’s death last year had given Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama an opportunity to tilt the 5-4 conservative majority in the US Supreme Court in favour of a 5-4 liberal majority but the Senate Republicans didn’t allow Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, a liberal.

TRUMP SEEKS AN EXPEDITED HEARING IN THE SUPREME COURT

After the London Bridge terror attack on June 3 that left seven dead and dozens injured, Trump, while slamming, the re-drafted version of his administration’s travel ban order as an attempt to be “politically correct”, commented that “the US Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to the US Supreme Court and the Justice Department should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down travel ban before the Supreme Court – and seek much tougher version.”

Before that, on June 1, the Trump administration had filed an emergency application in the US Supreme Court requesting temporary revival of the travel ban plan. And for the moment, the US Supreme Court decision seems to have given what Trump had wanted from the US judiciary, a favourable decision for his orders that are challenged.

There has always been this line of thought in the US that Trump wanted to have a conservative majority in the US Supreme Court so that he could push his agenda and one can always raise the question that the US Supreme Court could have expedited the hearing without altering the ban put in place by so many US courts. A US Judiciary with more conservative judges is likely to have a favourable view of Trump administration’s conservative policies like travel ban or stopping funds to the NGOs working for abortion.

A more ‘likeminded and amenable judiciary’ can be a great help, especially when the US under Trump is witnessing a flurry of lawsuits against his decisions that his rivals see as controversial. That is bound to happen as Trump’s victory has bitterly divided America and he took oath with historically low approval ratings amid nationwide protests.

Trump was always more than ready to move to the US Supreme Court on his travel ban plans where he expected a respite there with a 5-4 conservative majority with Neil Gorsuch’s approval. And with this respite, his administration may now work out his plans pushing for a much tougher version of travel ban as he has sought.

©SantoshChaubey