President Donald Trump signed a new and revised executive order on Monday that imposes yet another 90-day immigration ban against six predominantly Muslim countries, and bans refugees from all countries for 120 days.
Learning from the controversies circling his original January 27 order, which has since been frozen by a Washington state court, the Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States comes with some notable changes.
Iraq Excluded from Ban
For starters, it excludes Iraq from the 90-day ban. A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official cites the “…close cooperative relationship between the United States and the democratically elected Iraqi government, the strong United States diplomatic presence in Iraq, the significant presence of United States forces in Iraq, and Iraq’s commitment to combat ISIS justify different treatment for Iraq,” for the country’s special exclusion.
Blocking of Refugee Program to Apply to All Countries
In addition, the revised order will no longer block Syrian refugees indefinitely, as stipulated in the original ban’s provisions. The 120-day injunction on the refugee program will also apply to all nations. However, as outlined in the original order, the revised version will still lower the refugee cap from 110,000 in the Obama administration, to 50,000 for the current fiscal year.
The 90-day “Muslim ban” applies to the following countries:
But unlike its first iteration, the revised order will not take effect immediately after its signing, but will instead be effective on March 16, at exactly 12:01 a.m. The DHS hopes the delay in the ban’s implementation will create a more orderly process and prevent the chaos in airports around the country last month.
Valid Visa Holders Exempted from Immigration Ban
The revised order will no longer apply to legal permanent residents (people with green cards) and people with valid visas. Moreover, travelers whose valid visas were revoked because of the original immigration ban will be allowed to travel to the United States.
Trump’s signing of his revised executive order was a low-key affair and done off-camera, with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeting a photo of the event.
At an event following the signing, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the revised order a “vital measure for strengthening our national security,” adding that while no immigration system is perfect, the order lets the American public know the administration is actively addressing weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the system.
“Our embassies and consulates will play an important role in making sure that our nation is as secure as it can be,” Tillerson said.
Democrat lawmakers, however, saw the revised order as another ban targeting Muslims. In a statement by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), “A watered down ban is still a ban. Despite the Administration’s changes, this dangerous executive order makes us less safe, not more, it is mean-spirited, and un-American. It must be repealed.”
If you want to learn more about the administration’s new executive order, sit down for a consultation with immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle of the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today to learn more about how our services can help you.