US President Donald Trump signed a revised, more limited executive order on Monday, one that temporarily halts entry to the US for people from six Muslim-majority nations for 90 days, while dropping Iraq from the list.
The move comes after his original order triggered global outrage, and was blocked by the courts.
Trump signed the revised order behind closed doors, White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed. The new travel ban will come into effect from 16 March.
Politico reported that the revised order will affect individuals from countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — who are applying for visas for the first time. These individuals face a delay of at least 90 days while new vetting processes are developed.
"This will definitely be a more difficult constitutional target," Temple University law professor Peter Spiro was quoted as saying in the report. "To the extent it applies only to prospective visa applicants, they're sort of on the lowest rung of a ladder that's already pretty low. The executive has pretty broad authority in general in the immigration context and the authority is at its broadest with respect to non-citizens who have never entered the US."
Time reported reported senior administration officials as saying they have received "firm commitments" from the Iraqi government that they will comply with the vetting, screening, and information sharing the Trump administration has deemed adequate. "There is going to be a very orderly process. You should not see any alleged chaos. There are not going to be folks stopped tonight because of this executive order," the report quoted a senior official as saying.
The New Yorker reported that the 10-day delay in implementing the order was designed to avoid the chaos of mid-flight visa revocations that was caused by the first order. However, it undercuts the legal argument of the administration that the first order was an emergency measure. The order calls for the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the State Department and other agencies, to begin "a worldwide review to identify whether, and if so what, additional information will be needed from each foreign country” in order to determine that a person who is seeking an immigration benefit is not a security or public-safety threat".
The DHS would have twenty days to figure out what information it needed, and then the country in question would have fifty days to start providing it. At the end of that period, the DHS "shall submit to the president a list of countries recommended for inclusion in a presidential proclamation — a new list of places suspected of producing bad people".
The revised order halts the admission of refugees for 120 days, but no longer bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. It does not favour Christians either. The order does away with the most legally vulnerable aspects of the original order eliminating its application to existing visa holders, be they in the US or overseas.
"The 90-day period will allow for proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals," it says.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Mar 07, 2017 13:16 PM | Updated Date: Mar 07, 2017 13:26 PM