WASHINGTON (AP) — With President Donald Trump’s travel ban taking effect Thursday, the White House declared victory on the first major policy push of his presidency. But it could not have been the win Trump imagined.
What was once described as a blanket ban on Muslims, then became a temporary ban on visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries, is now a list of confusing new visa restrictions. Trump’s eye-popping campaign promise to deliver security by limiting entry into the U.S. has become the incredible shrinking travel ban, a plan rewritten, tweaked, watered down and litigated nearly beyond recognition.
All but lost in the five-month editing process and court fight is the president’s stated aim: keeping dangerous people out of the U.S. Trump initially billed the temporary ban on visitors from certain countries and refugees as an urgent and necessary tool to keep out would-be terrorists while the government crafted new “extreme vetting” procedures. But five months and no ban later, the administration has made little effort to build a stronger case and offered scant new evidence to back up its claims.
The restrictions that took effect Thursday evening, reinstated temporarily by the Supreme Court, are a far cry from Trump’s initial executive order, which sparked protests, chaos at airports and legal challenges in his administration’s earliest days. That order was withdrawn after being replaced with a version that Trump himself described as “watered down” and “politically correct.”
“What the Supreme Court did was watered…
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