Washington, March 7: The President of United States Donald Trump on Monday signed a new and revised executive order barring travelers from six Muslim-majority countries to the United States for three months, and all refugees for four months. These countries are Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
However, the move comes several weeks after the US federal appeals judges blocked a similar order last month. Importantly, Trump’s revised order is an effort to avoid the extensive legal disputes that have delayed for weeks the implementation of his original travel ban. The new order goes into effect March 16.
According to the revised executive order, the ban will apply only to new visa applicants from these six countries and it will not affect those who already have valid visas or people with US green cards. However, people whose visas were revoked under previous order will now be permitted to enter.
While the refugee ban remains in place, those "in transit" and already approved would be allowed entry into the US. Syrians will be treated the same as citizens of the other five countries singled out in the order. The waivers possible only for travelers who have previously been admitted to the US for work or school, those seeking to visit or live with a close relative who is a US citizen and infants, young children and adoptees or people in need of medical care. Interestingly, the new version removes language that would give priority to religious minorities.
Interestingly, the new plan will be harder to challenge because it affects fewer people living in the US and allows more exemptions to protect them. However, Iraq which was covered in the previous seven-nation order has been removed from the new one after agreeing for additional visa vetting measures.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Ministry has welcomed Washington's decision to drop Iraq from the list. Baghdad said the revised order will enhance US-Iraqi cooperation in the fight against Islamic State terrorists. Notably, the new order was unveiled by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security John Kelly.
Trump's earlier executive order, signed in January, suspended the arrival of refugees in the US for at least 120 days and bars visas for travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for the next three months. After this ban, President Donald Trump said his top priority is focusing on the safety and security of the US and not targeting any religion.
On the other side, US also issued a travel warning for its citizens visiting Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The State Department said that terrorist groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against US facilities, citizens and interests. It said US citizens should avoid travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The statement added that extremist elements are also active in India, as outlined in a recent emergency message.