President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban order will exclude Iraq, but continue to impose restrictions on the other six Muslim-majority nations that were included in the original order, US officials said.
The new executive order is expected to be signed on Wednesday (1 March) that will temporarily prohibit people travelling from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US.
Four officials reportedly told the Associated Press on Tuesday (28 March) that the change was made following pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, who urged the White House to consider Iraq’s leading role in fighting Isis and rethink their decision on imposing travel restrictions on the ally.
The revised travel ban order will replace the earlier version that was blocked by a federal court on multiple legal grounds. The new order was reportedly drafted to eliminate the legal hitches.
The initial order that came at the end of January led to mass protests in the country and abroad after many people were left stranded at airports waiting to reunite with family members. In the initial days of implementation of the order, even the green card holders and visa holders from the seven nations were barred from entering the country.
According to the Washington Post, which cited “people familiar with the matter”, the new version will exempt current visa holders from the travel ban and remove an exception to the refugee prohibition for religious minorities.
Justice Department lawyers reportedly hope the new version was more likely to pass legal hurdles and will also not leave any travellers detained at US airports. The paper also wrote that learning from the previous experience, the White House administration could implement the order at a date later than the signing date.
Meanwhile, CNN’s White House reporter tweeted that Trump may not sign the revised executive order on Wednesday as was being expected. The signing has been pushed to next week following positive reviews of Trump’s address to the joint Congress session on Tuesday.
Amid positive reviews of speech, WH officials have scrapped plans for Trump to sign new travel ban EO tomorrow, per a senior admin official.