Following a series of legal battles that stalled the original order, the Trump administration has released a revised immigration ban suspending residents of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Iraq is no longer on the list
The 90-day suspension affects travelers from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, notably excluding Iraq, which was on the original list. The decision to remove the country was made “based on their enhanced screening and reporting measures,” Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said this morning.
The new order contains several other changes from the original, many of which the Trump administration will likely point to as future legal challenges unfold.
Under the original version of the order, it was unclear whether holders of valid travel documents were still covered by the ban, a problem that sowed confusion at airports and led to conflicting messages from the administration. The revised ban clarifies that visa holders are still allowed travel to the US, as long as they held a visa on January 27th. Unlike the original order, which went into effect immediately, contributing to early confusion, the new ban does not go into effect for 10 days.
Refugees from any country will be banned from entering the US for 120 days. The previous order indefinitely suspended travel for Syrian refugees, but there are no extra restrictions for the country under the new order.
Refugee program will be suspended for 120 days
As part of the order, the administration has also directed the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department to publicize “terrorism-related offenses” in the United States.
Today’s order was announced in a joint conference by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Cameras were not present for Trump’s signing of the order.
Civil rights groups quickly slammed the new order. “The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible,” Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws.”
Protests erupted around the country after the original order was signed, and it was quickly halted by a legal challenge. The administration announced that it would make revisions to the order while still fighting through an appeals process. Whether the new order fares better will be the next question for the courts.