Trump signs new travel ban, drops Iraq from the list
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2017
US President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order on Monday banning immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, notably dropping Iraq from January's previous order, said a report.
The new travel ban comes six weeks after Trump's original executive order was rolled out to chaos and confusion at airports nationwide, and eventually blocked by a federal court.
It blocks entry to the US for citizens from six of the seven countries named in Trump’s original order, officials at the Department of Homeland Security and state department told reporters on a conference call on Monday.
The move comes after a federal judge blocked the ban and a federal appeals court upheld that ruling, denying the Justice Department’s request to reinstate it, said a Guardian report.
As with the previous order, people from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya will face a 90-day suspension of visa processing. But Iraq will be removed from the list of countries affected.
Iraq will "increase cooperation with the US government on the vetting of its citizens applying for a visa to travel to the United States," according to an administration fact sheet.
The inclusion of Iraq in the original order had prompted concerns from the national security community because of the country’s role in fighting terrorism alongside US forces, stated Guardian.
The revised order will keep in place a 120-day suspension of the refugee program, but it will no longer identify Syrian refugees as subject to an indefinite ban. Officials on the call said Syrians would be treated no differently from other refugees seeking asylum in the US, stated the report.
The order will not come into effect until 16 March, according to leaked guidance documents published by Just Security, in contrast to the first order which was implemented with immediately, it added.
Other changes will include an exemption for green card holders, who were swept up in the chaos that resulted from the previous order at airports across the country.
Language granting priority to religious minorities for entry has also been scrapped, officials said, while attempting to make the case that the travel ban did not seek to target individuals of any one faith, said the report.
The new order is intended to address the legal challenges that stemmed from Trump’s original travel ban, which was issued on January 27, it added.