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Trump Administration Revises Travel Ban To Expand Beyond Muslim-Majority Countries
New restrictions will apply to North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, starting on Oct. 18. Sudan has been dropped from the travel ban, which is before the Supreme Court next month.

The Trump administration is updating its travel ban, just hours before it was set to expire. In a proclamation signed by President Trump on Sunday, the travel restrictions now include eight countries, a couple of which are not majority-Muslim, as had been the case with all the nations in the original ban.

Five countries in the previous ban remain under restriction: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Chad, North Korea and Venezuela have been added. The latter two are the first nations included in a version of the travel ban that do not have majority-Muslim populations, which has been a key point in litigation challenging the ban as discriminatory based on religion.

Sudan has been dropped from the order. Restrictions for Somalia will be relaxed for non-immigrant visitors, and restrictions for Iran will be relaxed for students and other exchange visitors.

The new restrictions on Chad and North Korea are a broad ban on nationals from those countries entering the U.S. For Venezuela, restrictions apply to government officials and their immediate family.

These changes are set to take effect on Oct. 18, though the restrictions on Sudan will be lifted immediately, as a result of security baselines defined by the administration.
‘Discrimination Sunday’: Texas rushes to pass transgender ‘bathroom bill’ and measure allowing bias in adoptions, foster care
The bill is somewhat narrower than the one that caused such a ruckus in North Carolina, leading to business boycotts of the state.

Texas is on the verge of passing a discriminatory bathroom bill that will deeply affect the tens of thousands of trans youth living in the state. Under the banner of “privacy and security” this law would require students to use bathroom and locker-rooms corresponding to their “biological sex.” It’s not as broad as North Carolina’s HB2 (or the previously proposed SB6), but this will have a tremendous impact on a very vulnerable group of students who often have little choice in where they go to school.

No matter how frequently legislators deny the discriminatory intent behind these bills, the message from them is clear: that trans identities are not accepted, legitimate, or worthy of protection. That kind of messaging has a long history in the United States. Take it away, Democratic Representative Senfronia Thompson:

“I happened to be a part of this society during a period of time in this state and in this country when we had ‘separate but equal’ and I remember those days. You remember? Bathrooms: white, colored. Bathrooms divided us then and it divides us now and America has long recognized that separate but equal is not equal at all.”

Bathroom legislation discriminates, and it creates a school environment in which trans students (who already face plenty of challenges) are less likely to feel safe and comfortable - and are therefore less likely to succeed.

I am not sure that pressure on the Governor will do much of anything (this legislation has been championed by the Lt. Governor in Texas), but if you live in the state, please speak up.

And while this law is almost certainly going to face immediate legal challenge, things at the federal level are more than a little murky. With the Supreme Court declining to hear Gavin Grimm’s case, and the Department of Justice/Department of Education rescinding trans-inclusive recommendations, there is plenty of gray area for states and local municipalities to enact bathroom restrictions. This is certainly not the last bill we’re going to see of this kind.
Do the bees know they make the honey for you? Or do they work tirelessly because they think it is their own choice? Have you ever noticed that, after hearing a new word for the first time in your life, you’ll hear it again within twenty-four hours? Do you ever wonder why sometimes you’ll see a single shoe lying along the road?
—  Robert North, John Dies at the End by David Wong