President Trump’s new travel ban signed Monday imposes a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas for citizens of six majority-Muslim nations. The ban also suspends the nation’s refugee program for 120 days, while further stipulating that the refugee program will not accept more than 50,000 refugees in a year, down from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration. The order is expected to go into effect on March 16.
The president’s first order which basically laid a blanket ban on seven Muslim countries has been frozen by the court, but the Justice Department indicated that they’ll begin enforcing the new order on March 16, unless otherwise told.
The new order guidelines is a dramatic departure from the original ban. It is more specifically targeted, and blocks the issuance of only new visas. It also names just six of the seven countries included in the first executive order, omitting Iraq.
The order also details specific sets of people who would be able to apply for case-by-case waivers to the order, including those previously admitted to the United States for “a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity,” those with “significant business or professional obligations” and those seeking to visit or live with family.
“This executive order responsibly provides a needed pause, so we can carefully review how we scrutinize people coming here from these countries of concern,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in announcing that the order had been signed.
Critics of the ban, Democrats and civil liberties groups, have been quick to assert that the new order was legally tainted in the same way as the first one. They claim it is nothing but a thinly disguised Muslim ban. This seems to suggest that their will be more legal fights for the Trump administration on the way.
Answering questions, the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Iraq was omitted this time because it’s an important ally in the fight to defeat ISIS, and its leaders have agreed to implement new security measures.
You can read the full text of the new travel ban here