In the wake of a disastrous immigration ban that has since been frozen by a Washington state judge, White House sources say the Trump administration is in the final stages of a revised executive order that still temporarily bans refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, but now excludes current visa holders.
The revision comes in response to last month’s travel ban fiasco, which resulted in the State Department revoking thousands of legitimate visas and detaining hundreds of people in airports around the country. According to sources, the Department of Justice is hoping the new executive order will be ironclad and able to withstand legal challenges, while also preventing the nightmare scenario of having to detain travelers in airports.
Furthermore, the revised executive order now reportedly removes the exception for religious minorities in banning refugees. Critics had argued the exception was clearly motivated to discriminate against Muslims as it allowed Christian refugees to enter the U.S.
Details of the order were first revealed in the Wall Street Journal, and the White House is expected to announce it officially over the next few days. Sources close to the matter also say that unlike the original executive action, the revised order won’t take effect immediately after being signed, which should help prevent the problems that happened during its first iteration.
The White House, Justice Department, and Department of Homeland Security have yet to comment on the Wall Street Journal report.
On February 3, President Trump’s immigration ban stopped dead in its tracks after a Seattle judge ruled to suspend the order, a decision upheld by athree-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Justice Department had requested the courts to defer further litigation until a new order is in place, but the Court of Appeals has since given then the go signal to continue with the case.
While all this was happening, refugees and immigrants from the seven affected countries have been able to enter the country under normal screening processes.
While the President has immense authority over immigration policy, Trump’s executive order was applied unilaterally and in such haste that most judges agreed that some aspects of the directive need to be suspended pending assessment of their constitutionality. White House press secretary Sean Spicer has asserted that the administration believes it is not breaking the law, despite this setback.
Likewise, the White House counsel’s office had earlier argued that the immigration ban excluded legal permanent residents. However, courts said this assertion was largely unreliable as it was not part of the executive order’s provisions. As such, White House officials are reportedly hoping the revised order will allay these concerns and reduce the number of people taking their grievances to court.
If you or a loved one is one of the many people affected by the administration’s immigration ban, learn about your rights and legal options by talking to immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle of the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today to schedule a consultation.