President Trump signed an executive order Monday ordering new travel restrictions for residents of six Muslim-majority countries as well as a temporary ban on refugees from around the world. This directive comes after Trump's original executive order was rebuked in the federal courts.
The new ban, which takes effect March 16, halts travel for 90 days for residents of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The refugee suspension will last 120 days.
Advocates for refugees swiftly denounced President Trump’s revised executive order that temporarily suspends the refugee resettlement program as a discriminatory and inhumane measure that threatened the nation’s long-standing commitment to protect people fleeing violence and persecution.
Refugee Council USA, a coalition of U.S. non-governmental organizations that advocates on behalf of refugees, condemned the order as a “harmful and ill-considered” action that “singles out the most vetted, most vulnerable people.”
“The order does nothing to improve our national security and will have painful human consequences,” Hans van de Weerd, chair of RCUSA said in a statement. “It will separate families and leave tens of thousands of people – mostly women and children – exposed to grave danger and despair."
“RCUSA urges the administration to reconsider its course, consult experts on the already-thorough vetting system, and consider improvements, but to do so without stalling and drastically reducing one of the world’s strongest refugee resettlement programs," he added.
Human Rights First, an international, nonprofit human rights organization based in New York City and Washington, D.C, also criticized the newly revised order, arguing that halting refugee resettlement threatened to damage national security and betray U.S. ideals of protecting people who are persecuted abroad.
"This order is essentially religious discrimination masquerading, once again, in the language of national security,” Eleanor Acer, a senior director at Human Rights First, said in a statement. “The order targets people from Muslim-majority countries and will sharply reduce resettlement of Muslim refugees. Legal word-smithing cannot obscure the discriminatory intent and impact of the order.”