President Donald Trump signed a new version of his controversial travel ban on Monday, March 6, 2017, while Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally unveiled the new edict.
What's new in Trump's narrower travel ban?
- Iraq is now excluded from the list of Muslim-majority countries from which new foreign nationals are temporarily barred. Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen are still targeted.
- Those with U.S. permanent resident status or valid visas will not be affected. It applies only to refugees who aren't already on their way to the United States and people seeking new visas.
- Syrian refugees are no longer singled out for restriction.
- Religious minorities will not be prioritized.
Is the country's refugee program impacted?
Yes, the travel order suspends the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. According to the official order, USRAP is temporarily suspended "pending a review of our procedures for screening and vetting refugees." When the suspension is lifted, the number of refugees allowed into the United States will be capped at 50,000 for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
When will it go in effect?
The order goes into effect March 16, 2017 at 12:01 a.m.
Is there anything that the order doesn't address?
The new order does not address concerns raised in a Homeland Security intelligence analysis obtained last month by The Associated Press that concluded there was insufficient evidence that citizens of the originally banned countries posed a terror threat to the United States. The administration has played down the significance of that report.
What's the reaction?
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded immediately with a statement.
“A watered-down ban is still a ban,” he said. “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 It must be repealed.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said, “This revised executive order advances our shared goal of protecting the homeland.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, said his office is ready to litigate again, if necessary: “While the White House may have made changes to the ban, the intent to discriminate against Muslims remains clear.”