S.A. law expert: Trump travel ban is 'absolutely, 100 percent legal'

President Trump signs new executive order on travel restrictions

SAN ANTONIO - President Trump issued his revised travel ban Monday, targeting six instead of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

The goal of this executive order is to keep terrorists out of the United States.

Several changes were made in this second attempt at a travel ban. Experts claim the changes are enough to likely avoid being struck down in court.

"My issue is, is he legal? In this case he's absolutely, 100 percent legal in what he's doing. The president has vast authority to make determinations on who comes into our country if they're not U.S. citizens," said Jeffrey Addicott, director for terrorism law at St. Mary's University.

Some experts said the revised travel ban is a logical move for the United States.

"We are in a state of war, which people have forgotten," said Addicott. "Therefore, if you're in a state of war, you've got to take extraordinary precautions to protect the American people."

Addicott said the countries targeted by the executive order simply do not have a vetting system that satisfies our need for national security. The temporary ban will, ideally, help sort things out.

"The argument that, 'Well, you can't trace one person that has yet to come in that's caused a massive terror attack,' to me that's sloppy thinking," he said. "You don't want to close the barn door after the horse is out."

Iraq was removed from the original ban after Iraqi government officials agreed to improve the country's vetting system and share more information with the U.S.

The 90-day ban applies to Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Iran and Libya.

Syrians are no longer subject to an indefinite ban. Green Card holders and travelers with a valid visa are also exempt.

"Nobody can enter the U.S. through the airports without a visa. Do they really think people are that stupid?" said Sarwat Husain, the president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of San Antonio.

Husain said families from countries outside the six listed on the travel ban have been detained or sent back home.

"We've had a [terrorism] case [involving] a Saudi. We've had an Indian Muslim [case], and [those countries] weren't even on that list," said Husain. "Even if you have a few cases of so-called terrorism that they say, they were American citizens. They've been here, they were born here. That is homegrown terrorism."

Many, like Husain, are calling the president's travel ban a "Muslim Ban." Supporters disagree, saying the banned countries primarily have problems with their vetting system because of high incidents of terrorism, or they're a failed state.

"The fact that there are 50 Muslim countries that are not on the list tells you very clearly that this is not a Muslim ban as some people falsely claim," said Addicott.

Husain is confident the ban will, again, be turned down by the courts.

The revised travel ban goes into effect March 16. For the latest Q&A on the ban, click here.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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