Samuel Northrup, Online/Social Media Editor
President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily blocking citizens from six majority Muslim countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – was stopped, hours before officially taking effect, by a federal judge in Hawaii on March 15. A second federal judge in Maryland also ruled against the order, prohibiting the enforcement of the 90-day ban on travel from the six countries.
This travel ban, which was signed on March 6, was a revision of a previous executive order that was signed on Jan. 27, and later blocked by a federal judge in Seattle.
What is the difference between the first and second travel bans?
The new ban maintained the crux of its predecessor, imposing a 90-day ban on travelers, but removed Iraq as one of the countries affected by the order. The president’s new order also changed course on Syrian refugees, replacing the indefinite ban seen in the first travel ban with a 120-day halt on acceptance of refugees from the country that would required to be reviewed and renewed, according to the New York Times.
Permanent residents and visa holders were also exempted from the new executive order, which caused confusion and protests in airports across the country, as travelers under these classifications were detained.
“Allowing green card holders and permanent residents in, when the first ban sort of left them out over this gray area, seems like a positive change,” said Professor Daniel Tagliarina, a member of the Political Science department at Utica College and researcher of constitutional law.
Language giving preferential treatment to religious minorities (like Christians), which essentially prioritized other groups over Muslim’s, was also dropped from the second travel ban.
“One of the particular problems with the first one [travel ban] was the language about preferring religious minorities which was meant, or at least interpreted as meaning, Christians, in particular, in these Muslim nations,” Tagliarina said. “So letting Christians in but not Muslims, which showed animus which was used against the first ban.”
If it was passed, would the second ban have impacted students and professors at UC?
According to Professor Tagliarina, no, citing there are no international students or faculty from the six countries listed in the travel ban per President Casamento and other higher officials at UC.
However, the potential for this legislation could deter interested students or scholars from coming to Utica College.
Dean of International Education at UC, Christopher Johnson, feels that although there are no members of the campus community known to be impacted directly by a potential travel ban, there are some indirect effects that come with it.
“Unfortunately, it is sending a message globally that we are unwelcoming to people from certain parts of the world and, while it’s a specific list of countries, I think the perception is those specific countries are seen as proxies for a wider audience, particularly in the Middle East or Persian Gulf,” Johnson said.
Johnson also acknowledged that campus community members may also still be feeling anxiety despite not being directly affected by any potential travel bans.
“I think there are people who are anxious, generally, even if they are not directly affected,” Johnson said. “The whole tenor of the situation and the worry that there might be something coming next, that causes anxiety, and there’s no real answers for it because we don’t know what might be coming next or when it is might come.”