New executive order has improved legal standing, despite continued opposition

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- University of Memphis sophomore Yousef Yousef is the son of Palestinian immigrants who came to the U.S. via Kuwait. He is studying biology and hopes to become a doctor. He's also the vice president of the Muslim Student Association at the school and reviewed the new travel executive order signed by President Donald Trump Monday.

"It’s a false stereotype. These refugees are fleeing people we call our enemies. They're fleeing terrorism," Yousef said.

The new order replaces the one signed in January; it now restricts travel from six countries instead of seven, removing Iraq from the ban list.

It also allows green card and visa holders to travel freely.

And does not give priority to Christian refugees, like the previous version did.

“It certainly helps the legal stance. It’s not as likely to get held up in court not as likely to have an injunction place against it," attorney Elisabeth Courson said.

But Courson said she’s still advising clients not to leave the country unless they have to visit family.

She's also working with a couple who helped the U.S. military in Iraq.

“They’ve had their asylum interview. We’re waiting for a decision for them,” she said.

Yousef also has Iraqi friends who are refugees. He reached out to them Monday with a bittersweet message.

“It’s small light of hope in something that’s still severe and scary for Muslims and Arab refugees or refugees in general," he said.

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition released a statement today in response to the new order:

"Contrary to speculation last week that the president was "softening" his approach to immigration, today's executive order makes clear that his administration is intent on taking a wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty. Just as we saw with the first iteration of the Muslim ban, we know that this extreme executive action to be rejected by the American people and denounced by Tennesseans from all walks of life. We expect that once again the courts will serve as an important check on the president's unconstitutional and un-American instincts, but we also believe that Congress must play the same role. We will be urging our representatives to defend American values and the rights of all Tennesseans by opposing the Trump administration's anti-immigrant agenda every step of the way."