News Analysis: Trump's visa ban may satisfy supporters, but could hurt him overall
By Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, March 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump just revised the controversial visa ban of citizens from several predominately Muslim nations. But experts said while this may satisfy his supporters, it may hurt him overall.
The new travel ban bars entry of some people from six countries- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - for 90 days and suspends entry of some refugees for 120 days.
Trump's temporary visa ban sparked much controversy in January, as critics condemned it as poorly planned and executed while supporters say he is only fulfilling a campaign promise.
It was later overturned by a federal judge in the state of Washington, whose ruling was upheld by an appeals court. This was the first setback that Trump has suffered since January inauguration.
Trump has since modified the executive order, relaxing restrictions on permanent residents and removing Iraq from the list, which now includes Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya.
"Trump and his staff continue to present them (the visa laws) as a travel ban and the fulfillment of his campaign pledge of a 'Muslim ban.' They are likely to provoke continued overly aggressive enforcement (of) front-line customs and border agents, above and beyond the specific terms of the current orders," Christopher Galdieri, assistant professor at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, told Xinhua.
Politically, the ban appeals to Trump's core supporters who are dissatisfied with demographic change and levels of immigration to the U.S., legal or otherwise, Galdieri said.
"But legally they're likely to continue to be a disaster, with new challenges in the courts and the weight of Trump's and his staff's statements about them as strikes against them, and they will probably lead to continued protests," Galdieri said.
They also pose a danger to Republicans in Congress, who will be asked whether they support the ban," Galdieri added.
Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Xinhua the issue will continue to spark controversy.
"The country is deeply divided and Democrats and Republicans are split on many issues, including immigration and especially on the ban. All the polls showed it before the revised order. So many Democratic politicians will oppose the President on this one," she said.
Brookings Institution's Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua that the visa ban will continue to spark controversy because Democrats are condemning it and Republicans are nervous about defending it.
"The new approach still bans people from certain countries even if there is no evidence that those individuals constitute a risk. This means that students, doctors, and scientists from those countries will not be allowed to travel to the United States, West said.
Reporters will find those people and highlight their personal stories that show they are not terrorists, West said.
Some opponents of the visa ban contend it will not stop terrorism, citing results of studies that show most of the terrorists that launched strikes in the country are radicalized several years after entering the country, and many of them are not from the countries on the Trump's ban list.
But Heritage Foundation's analyst James Carafano told Xinhua that the visa ban is not intended to be a panacea.
"It is designed for one very particular aspect of the global transnational Islamist terrorist threat. Tens of thousands of foreign fighters flooded into Syria and Iraq. The order is intended to block terrorist travel from those countries to the U.S." he said.
"What is good about the order is it is intended to get ahead (of a) threat," he added.