Trump Removed Iran From Banned List
President Donald Trump signed a new executive order Monday banning immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, notably dropping Iraq from January’s previous order.
The new travel ban comes six weeks after Trump’s original executive order was rolled out to chaos and confusion at airports nationwide, and eventually blocked by a federal court.
The new version exempts people who hold current visas and drops an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, reducing it to 120 days. It also makes clear that lawful permanent residents are excluded from ban.
What it’s like in the 6 countries on Trump’s travel ban list
“We cannot compromise our nation’s security by allowing visitors entry when their own governments are unable or unwilling to provide the information we need to vet them responsibly, or when those governments actively support terrorism.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday.
The ban covers Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iraq’s removal from the list came after an intense review from the State Department to improve vetting of Iraqi citizens in collaboration with the Iraqi government.
“The United States welcomes this kind of close cooperation,” he said. “This revised order will bolster the security of the united states and our allies.”
The rollout of the revised travel ban marks an important moment for the administration, which has little room for error after the chaotic debut of the original plan. That failure raised questions about the new White House’s capacity to govern and to master the political intricacies needed to manage complicated political endeavors in Washington. It also brought Trump into conflict with the judiciary in the first sign of how constitutional checks and balances could challenge his vision of a powerful presidency built on expansive executive authority.
Trump’s travel ban: Read the full executive order
The original order barred citizens from seven countries from entering the US for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely halted refugees from Syria.
It came under intense criticism as an attempt to bar Muslims from entering the country, and Trump’s call during the campaign for a “Muslim Ban” was cited in court cases attacking the ban.
The new order does not prioritize religious minorities when considering refugee admissions cases.
Why Iraq was removed from the revised travel ban
Administration officials Monday stressed they do not see the ban as targeting a specific religion.
“(The order is) not any way targeted as a Muslim ban … we want to make sure everyone understands that,” an official told reporters.
“The Department of Justice believes that this executive order just as the first executive order is a lawful and proper exercise of presidential authority,” Sessions said.
Democrats responded by calling Trump’s order a repeat version of the first attempt.
“Here we go again…Muslim Ban 2.0 #NoBanNoWall” tweeted Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana, one of two Muslims serving in the House of Representatives.
Working to contain fallout
The newly crafted order also revealed that the administration wasn’t just paying attention to the legal criticism in the courts, but also recalibrating in light of the heavy political fire they faced after the first order’s messy rollout.
While administration lawyers argued the original travel ban went into effect immediately to prevent terrorists from rushing into the country, the revised ban will phase in after 10 days. The previous order will be rescinded on that date.
Trump had previously said he opposed giving any advance notice of the ban.
“If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the “bad” would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad “dudes” out there!” he tweeted on January 30.
The White House also abandoned the sense of urgency with which it implemented the first travel ban, delaying the signing of a new executive order multiple times over the last three weeks.