Donald Trump

‘We Don't See Any Difference': CAIR Florida on Revised Travel Ban

Officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida say the new travel ban signed by President Donald Trump Monday is more of the same and still targets Muslims.

Wilfredo Ruiz, communications director for CAIR, which represents 700,000 Muslims state-wide including 100,000 in South Florida, sees little difference in the revised order, which still bars new visas for citizens from six Muslim-majority countries.

"So we don't see any difference," Ruiz told NBC 6. "The purpose was to manipulate the order to make it appear legal. Not to make it legal, make it appear legal, because the intention reminds man it was the same as the first one. 'We want to implement a Muslim ban. Let's start with seven countries,' now they reduce it to six."

Ruiz says the phone calls by Muslims requesting help have doubled since February. The calls come from current visa holders, which according to the ban are now exempt from the revised ban.

Nevertheless, the fear of not being able to re-enter is very real.

"'What will happen to me? My case is this.' And we can't really give sound advice yet, because the orders are so irregular, are so religiously biased," Ruiz said.

With the original ban there was mass confusion at the airports in interpreting the order. Because of that, Ruiz says his members are flat-out scared of traveling outside the U.S. and not being able to return, or of their family being unable to visit, or of work visas not being honored.

"To discriminate as who comes to this country. And if you do a religious test, the very moment you do it, you're violating the Constitution of the United States," Ruiz said.

Ruiz agrees that the U.S. has the right to say who can and cannot enter the country, but when it's faith-based, which he says the revised order oozes with evidence, it's a constitutional violation.

CAIR also takes issue with the White House claim that the travel order is simply supposed to protect Americans from terrorism.

"The religious group mostly affected by ISIS today are the Muslims in a proportion of like 100-1. So what are we doing to protect the victims of terrorism, if that's the real purpose behind it?" Ruiz said. "But it is not. the real purpose is, 'I want to ban the Muslims.'"

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