President Trump Signs New Immigration Executive Order
The Trump administration on Monday, March 6, 2017, rolled out the second edition of a controversial immigration executive order, which suspends immigration into the United States from now only six predominantly Muslim countries.
Citizens from the affected countries — Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya — will be subjected to a 90-day ban on travel to the United States. Iraq was previously listed among those nations, but it was removed from this latest iteration after reassurances from the Iraqi government of increased information sharing with the United States, a senior Department of Homeland Security official told reporters on Monday. The order, which will go into effect on March 16, does not revoke existing visas approved before that date and does not explicitly apply to current lawful permanent residents and green card holders.
Visas revoked because of the original travel order been fully restored, according to the State Department. The revised order still seeks to curb the number of refugees allowed into the United States — no more than 50,000 will be allowed in in 2017 — however, it no longer places a blanket ban on Syrian refugees trying to enter the United States. Instead, refugees, including those from Syria, will be subjected to a 120-day suspension of the refugee program.
Although this rollout was more traditional and the order's language was better tailored to pass legal muster after the original policy was ultimately stalled in the courts, the new travel order mostly adhered to the old order's roots.
Here are the highlights of how the new executive order differs from the first:
- The new order will not go into effect until March 16. It's a slower rollout and will be given with a ten-day notice instead of the immediate application of the original ban. The president tweeted in January that such a notice would give "the 'bad'" a chance to rush into the country, but the abrupt implementation of the first order led to confusion and chaos in some American airports.
- Monday's directive removes the original ban's preference for "religious minorities," which opponents pointed to as an example of religious discrimination that favored Christians over Muslims. The new order said the previous "allowed for prioritization of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion."
- Green card legal residents are exempt from the new order, which was an issue in legal challenges to the original ban.
- Iraq will be removed from the list of countries impacted by the ban. Travelers from six other predominantly-Muslim countries will still face a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. The other countries on the list are the same as included in the original order: Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. However, Monday's order includes an explanation why each of those were chosen.
- Syrian refugees, which originally faced an indefinite ban, will now be treated like other refugees attempting to enter the country.
- The new order rescinds the previous one.