What Could Trump’s Muslim Immigration Order Do?

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Source: The Atlantic

By MATT FORD

For all his campaign-trail bombast about Muslim immigration to the United States and bluster about its supposed mortal perils, President Trump’s draft executive order to reduce it is far more limited than many expected (and some feared) it would be. Trump initially called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” in December 2015 to widespread criticism. Successive campaign statements pared down that blanket ban on an entire religion’s adherents to “extreme vetting” of Muslim individuals.

A draft executive order published Wednesday by the Huffington Post didn’t come close to fulfilling the original scope of the president’s promises, but it still represented a sharp break from longstanding U.S. practices. If implemented, the Trump administration’s order would suspend the entire U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days while security measures are reviewed and ban Syrian refugees from U.S. entry indefinitely. It would also temporarily block entry visas from seven countries—Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya—for 30 days as part of a broader security review of visa-admission programs, after which permanent visa bans could be enacted for those countries and others. The order also includes a variety of other security-related measures ranging from planning for safe zones in Syria and expediting biometric exit-entry screening for U.S. travelers.

To understand the order’s scope and potential impact, I spoke with Jennifer Gordon, a Fordham University law professor who specializes in immigration law. Our conversation has been lightly edited for style and clarity.

Matt Ford: If I’m a Syrian refugee in a camp in Turkey, what should I expect if this draft executive order becomes official?

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