Without a media presence for the signing, a second executive order banning travelers from countries with a Muslim Majority has been signed. The new order is being hailed by pro-immigration groups as nothing more than a scaled-back version of the original travel ban.
The new order drops Iraq from the list of seven countries and allows travel for legal residents of the US as well as dual nationals with passports from another country. The new order also limits the number of refugees to 50,000, less than half of what the Obama Administration planned to allow.
The order, which allows a 10-day period before going into effect on March 16, bans travelers from six countries: Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days – Syria for 120 days.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said, “We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives.”
Iraq was eliminated from the ban after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson negotiated assurances from the country that extraordinary vetting measures would be put in place for Iraqis. Tillerson said, Iraq is “an important alley” in the fight against ISIS.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said “The Department of Justice believes that this executive order, just as the first order, is a lawful and proper exercise of presidential authority.”
- Iraq, due to their new vetting process for visas and because they are allies in the fight against ISIS.
- Travelers who are legal permanent residents of the US.
- Dual nationals with passports from other countries.
- Those who have been granted asylum.
- Gives advance notice before going into effect and rescinds the previous order the day it goes into effect.
- Syrians are no longer banned indefinitely.
- The new order, like the original, tests the limits of the US Executive Branch.
- Country of origin has not been a good indicator in the past of those with a propensity to commit terrorist acts; Pakistan is one example, and who is not on the list.
- The travel ban and limit on refugees will likely cause a ripple effect in the US against those who are perceived to be Muslim.
- Immigrant rights organizations condemn the new order as a First Amendment violation because it still exercises a ban on Muslim countries alone, and therefore, discriminates on the basis of religion.
ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project Director Omar Jadwat said in a statement, the new order “has replaced it (the original order) with a scaled-back version that shares the same flaws.”