Donald Trump Issues New Travel Ban, Drops Iraq From List


Washington: US President Donald Trump on Monday signed a revised, more limited executive order banning migrants from six mostly-Muslim countries from coming to the United States for 90 days.

The new order, aimed at getting around the legal smackdown that spiked the first presidential decree on the subject+ , drops Iraq from the list of seven countries that includes Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. US Green card holders will be exempted.

Trump advisors, many from the military, argued that Iraq was now an ally and blocking Iraqis who helped the United States in the war effort would be detrimental to American interests. Officials also said Iraq had agreed to a “timely repatriation” of its citizens if they were ordered to be deported, something other proscribed countries apparently don’t do.

About the six countries identified for the travel ban, the new order+ said: Each of these countries is a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organizations, or contains active conflict zones. Any of these circumstances diminishes the foreign government’s willingness or ability to share or validate important information about individuals seeking to travel to the United States.

Moreover, it said, the “significant presence in each of these countries of terrorist organizations, their members, and others exposed to those organizations increases the chance that conditions will be exploited to enable terrorist operatives or sympathizers to travel to the United States.” Finally, it added, once foreign nationals from these countries are admitted to the US, “it is often difficult to remove them, because many of these countries typically delay issuing, or refuse to issue, travel documents.”

Trump signed the latest order sans ceremony after the first effort ended in a fiasco+ when it was struck down by courts+ . Officials who briefed reporters on background said there should be no chaos or confusion at the airports in implementing this order and the administration expected it to pass legal muster.

In a separate memorandum addressed to the US Secretary of State, Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, the US President also directed “implementing immediate heightened screening and vetting of applications for visas and other immigration benefits, Ensuring Enforcement of All Laws for Entry into the United States, and Increasing Transparency among Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and for the American People.”

The memorandum directed the departments to issue “regular reports regarding visas and adjustments of immigration status, written in non-technical language for broad public use and understanding.”

Starting April 28, 2017 onwards and by the last day of every month thereafter, the State Department will be required to publish the number of visas that have been issued from each consular office within each country during the reporting period, disaggregated by detailed visa category and country of issuance.

Within 90 days of the memorandum, the Homeland Security Department will have to issue reports detailing the number of adjustments of immigration status that have been made during the reporting period, disaggregated by type of adjustment, type and detailed class of admission, and country of nationality.