Jewish groups condemn new US travel ban


(JTA) — Several Jewish groups criticized the Trump administration’s new travel ban, which tailors restrictions on eight countries — three more than in the current ban being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The executive order signed Sunday by President Donald Trump replaces one that detractors said was an attempt to keep Muslims out of the country.

The new ban adds citizens of Chad and North Korea, as well as some Venezuelan government officials and their families, to Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It goes into effect Oct. 18.

On Monday, the Supreme Court signaled it may dismiss the challenge to the ban after the White House announced the new order, Reuters reported. Legal experts said the new restrictions stand a better chance of holding up in court.

But the Anti-Defamation League was among the Jewish groups that stood against the new ban.

“Another day, another discriminatory #TravelBan. We’re standing firmly against it,” the ADL said in a tweet.

In a statement, the group added, “This new proclamation, like the first two travel bans, tears families apart and runs counter to our values as a nation that has stood as a beacon of hope for people around the world.”

J Street called the revised travel ban “ill-conceived, discriminatory and dangerous.” The liberal Middle East policy group’s statement noted that the ban likely would not prevent the entrance to the United States of real terrorists.

“Rather than making Americans safer, the travel ban will further erode the United States’ image around the world, helping the cause of terrorist organizations which promote anti-American sentiment,” it said.

Bend the Arc Jewish Action CEO Stosh Cotler said in a statement that the ban “undermines fundamental American and Jewish values with its explicit bigotry and xenophobia.”

Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, the lead Jewish immigrant advocacy group, said the travel restrictions “reflect the arbitrary and discriminatory approach this administration has taken toward immigration policy from day one. Make no mistake, an indefinite ban which presumes someone is a threat simply because of their religion or nationality will always run contrary to the equality we seek to see in America.”

“There would not be an American Jewish community if these kinds of restrictions existed during the first part of the 20th century, and while this most recent order does not impact refugee resettlement in the United States, it’s certainly a troubling sign for the direction we’re headed,” he also said.

U.S. courts have struck down earlier bids by Trump to install a travel ban on Muslim-majority countries.

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