President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order Monday (Mar. 6) that will bar six Muslim-majority countries from immigrating to the United States but now takes Iraq off the list. The new order also puts back into effect a ban on all refugees from any country.
CNN reports that the ban comes just weeks after Trump’s controversial “Muslim ban” order went into effect. The response to Trump’s order was robust and it was eventually blocked by courts. In the new order, those who have held visas before the ban will not be added to any lists and there is also a portion of the order that lifts the indefinite ban against refugees from Syria and instead will prioritize refugees who are considered religious minorities from their respective nations.
The new ban, which takes effect March 16, also explicitly exempts citizens of the six banned countries who are legal US permanent residents or have valid visas to enter the US — including those whose visas were revoked during the original implementation of the ban, senior administration officials said.
“We cannot compromise our nation’s security by allowing visitors entry when their own governments are unable or unwilling to provide the information we need to vet them responsibly, or when those governments actively support terrorism,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday.
The new measures will block citizens of Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from obtaining visas for at least 90 days. The order also suspends admission of refugees into the US for 120 days, directing US officials to improve vetting measures for a program that is already widely regarded as extremely stringent.
Critics of Trump’s order are still dissatisfied with the new ruling despite the dropping of Iraq, an ally in the war against terrorism, from the list. The ACLU, among other like-minded groups, have issued public statements decrying the so-called Muslim ban.