On Monday, President Donald Trump issued a revised temporary travel ban executive order with alterations from the original that was signed in January. In the new order, the President exempts existing visa holders from the travel ban and also removed Iraq from the original list of seven countries, bringing the number down to six countries.
The changes are designed to help the new order avoid the fate of Trump’s first directive, which was effectively halted by a series of court rulings. Both directives were billed as new safeguards to prevent potential terrorists from entering the U.S.
The new order puts a 90-day halt on issuing visas to citizen from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The order also puts a hold on accepting refugees from anywhere in the world for 120 days.
According to Politico, the order “also removes language that appeared to give priority to Christian refugees applying from predominantly Muslim countries.”
Contrary to the previous directive, there will be a 10-day delay before the order begins to allow for coordination and a organized execution.
The Associated Press reported that the signing of the new order was done privately, according to White House spokesman Michael Short. Three cabinet officials spoke about the order to reporters, but did not take questions.
“It is the president’s solemn duty to protect the American people and with this order, President Trump is exercising his authority to keep our people safe,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.
“Today’s executive order…will make America more secure and address long overdue concerns about the security of our immigration system,” Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly added. “We must undertake a rigorous review and are undertaking a rigorous review of our immigration vetting programs to increase our confidence in the decisions we make relative to visitors and immigrants that travel to the United States. We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives.”
The Associated Press also reported:
Iraq says a revised U.S. travel ban that removes the country from a list of Muslim-majority nations sends a “positive message” about the future of bilateral relations as the two countries work to combat the Islamic State group.
Government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi says the decision to revise the ban shows that there is a “real partnership” between Washington and Baghdad.