People hug after arriving in advance of the incoming travel ban to the U.S. at John F. Kennedy airport in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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With President Donald Trump's travel ban taking effect, the White House declared victory on the first major policy push of his presidency.What was once described as a blanket ban on Muslims, and then became a temporary ban on visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries, is now a list of confusing new visa restrictions. Trump's eye-popping campaign promise to deliver security by limiting entry into the U.S. has become the incredible shrinking travel ban, a plan rewritten, tweaked, watered down and litigated nearly beyond recognition.All but lost in the five-month editing process and court fight is the president's stated aim: Keeping dangerous people out of the U.S. Trump initially billed the temporary ban on visitors from certain countries and refugees as an urgent and necessary tool to keep out would-be terrorists while the government crafted new "extreme vetting" procedures. Under State Department guidelines, visa applicants from six Muslim-majority countries for the next 90 days need to show close family or business ties to the United States.While Trump declared the court ruling a "win," his administration did not lay out a clear case for the national security merits of the plan.It remains unclear whether even the original ban would have improved security.
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