Portman's Support Of Revised Travel Ban Draws Columbus Protests

Mar 7, 2017

With shouts of “Refugees are welcome here” and “No racism, we’re done with that," constituents of U.S. Senator Rob Portman gathered outside his Columbus office on Tuesday to protest President Trump's revised travel ban.

President Trump announced the executive order on Monday, after his first travel ban was suspended by a federal judge in early February.

The new version removes a blanket ban on Syrian refugees and allows travel from Iraq, but continues to block migrants from six Muslim-majority nations.

Jennifer Nimer, executive director of The Council of American-Islamic Relations in Columbus, says these revisions aren't enough.

“Families are going to be separated. Children are going to be separated from their parents,” Nimer says. “This is horrible all around, and nothing they do to try to make a piecemeal is going to make it better. It has to be repealed.”

Portman says that while he spoke out against the first ban, he thinks the new executive order is more properly vetted.

“As a result of that, it does not, for instance, affect permanent residents, which the last one did,” Portman says. “I thought that was a mistake and they’ve corrected that.”

Credit Adora Namigadde

He also says it's good there’s a waiting period between the announcement of the newest order and its implementation, unlike the first ban, which took effect immediately - to much confusion. Portman pointed positively to other parts of the ban revised from the initial order.

“With regard to Syria now, it doesn’t have an indefinite ban," Portman says. "It has a ban in order to come up with a better way to screen people, which is an improvement.”

Bar any legal challenges, the new ban will take effect March 16.