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While the Supreme Court is poised to issue rulings on two key Trump administration travel ban cases this week, there is a second development that could have real impact on how the president — and the world — views the United States. President Trump issued a proclamation on Thursday restricting travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
After learning of the proclamation, many Americans — and people around the world — reacted swiftly and forcefully, demanding that the Justice Department defend the president’s actions. There is growing alarm that the proclamation could lead to the imposition of discriminatory travel bans against some people based on their nationality. As people wondered why this provision appeared to be a centerpiece of the proposal, the president’s team sought to dismiss concerns with only a small part of the package.
These developments come as the Supreme Court prepares to release opinions later this week, raising concerns about the administration’s posturing for when a broader case about the constitutionality of the travel ban is brought before the Supreme Court.
For this week, the Trump administration is putting out statements of support from foreign governments to defend the action and the intention to adjust the list of countries in the proclamation. In my opinion, it is best for the administration to keep itself “on message” by immediately issuing another statement indicating that it is preparing a supplemental travel proclamation and will issue clarification of where people can travel without posing a significant risk to national security and foreign relations. At the very least, the administration should begin the work needed to release a call to action, in the form of a policy statement or another document, on the other proposed actions.
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