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Ellison: Trump's travel ban 'starts out with bad intentions'

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on Friday blasted President Trump's revised travel ban, questioning the justification for the executive order.

"Well it ... starts out with bad intentions," the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee said in an interview with CNN. "It has changed, but it has not changed to the point where it's no longer intended to harm and block people based on their religion."
 
Trump's restructured order on refugees and immigration seeks to minimize legal objections to the policy that was halted by the courts last month.
 
Ellison maintained that there is no evidence to back the travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries, underscoring that nations that have harbored terrorists in the past are not included in the executive order.
 
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"What's the national security justification for this thing? Because we know there has been no Syrian refugee who's been associated with terrorism," he said.
 
"If you look at the three countries where terrorists came from and committed acts of terrorism in the United States — it's Saudi Arabia, [the United Arab Emirates] and Egypt — they are not on the list. So the list is actually irrational," he added.
 
Ellison also argued that refugees in East Africa who are severely impacted by the ongoing drought in the region "need to be able to get some relief."
 
"With this ban, those people would be barred. And let me tell you, days count when it comes to drought and famine," he said.
 
The lawmaker stressed that even if the new language of the ban withstands legal challanges, it will not make it a good policy.
 
"Just because it's legal doesn't make it right," he said.