Trump’s new travel ban: better, but still not worthy

I’ll hand it to Donald J. Trump.

At least he can tinker around the edges of a bad policy to make it somewhat more palatable, even if the very principle behind it stinks.

I refer to the revised travel ban he introduced to the world Monday.

He took Iraq off the list of Muslim-majority nations where refugees are banned from entering the United States; he exempts those with current visas from the list; it removes language that grants exemptions for “religious minorities” in the Middle East; it won’t take effect until March 16.

Is this one better than the old policy that was shot down by a federal judge, whose opinion was upheld by a federal appeals court? Yes.

It remains problematic for those of us who just dislike the idea of singling out countries and people who adhere to certain religious faiths from this brand of “profiling.”

The reaction to this revised rule has been far less vocal than the outburst that greeted the initial rule, which the president signed into law via executive order one week after taking office. Accordingly, it’s interesting, too, that Trump signed this executive order in private; no cameras, no ceremony, no hoopla, hype or hysteria.

“This is definitely on much firmer legal ground,” according to a former assistant secretary of Homeland Security. “It’s pretty narrowly applied to new visa applicants, which is probably the place where the president has the most authority.”

Time will tell — probably very soon — whether this one will stand up to court challenges. My guess is that it will, although if I were king of the world I would prefer that the president simply instruct immigration, customs and border security troops to be hyper-vigilant when checking everyone who seeks to come here.

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