US President Donald Trump on Monday signed a revised executive order, banning the entry of travellers from six Muslim-majority countries to the United States. The new version of his controversial travel ban will affect would-be visitors from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya. In addition to the travel ban, the US president has also shut down the US refugee program. According to White House spokesman Michael Short, the signing was done privately.
The revised order, which will come into force on March 16, also stipulates that a 90-day ban on people from the six countries does not apply to those who already have valid visas or people with US green cards. The latest order, however, excludes Iraq from the list of targeted countries following pressure from the Pentagon and State Department. Iraq was omitted from the list after taking into consideration the country’s role in fighting the Islamic State group.
The order has not been implemented immediately, in spite of Trump saying that if his administration doesn’t act soon, it could allow the entry of “bad ‘dudes'” who want to harm the country.
This time around, the president skipped the usual public ceremony altogether. Instead, the administration chose to have Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions serve as the public faces of the rollout at a brief press announcement.
“I think today was about the implementation of it,” said Press Secretary Sean Spicer — at a briefing off camera. House Speaker Paul Ryan commended the administration and Secretary Kelly “for their hard work on this measure to improve our vetting standards.”
“This revised executive order advances our shared goal of protecting the homeland,” Ryan said.
Trump’s initial order had sparked worldwide outrage and chaos at airports around the country as travelers were detained before being sent back overseas or blocked from getting on airplanes abroad. The order had to face several legal challenges and eventually put on hold last month by a federal judge in Washington state. The ruling was subsequently upheld by a federal appeals court.
With inputs from AP