Donald Trump's travel ban 2.0: What has changed since first executive order?

On Monday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order titled 'Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States' around five-and-a-half weeks since he signed one titled 'Executive Order: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States'. The new order, it has been pointed out, will not come into effect until a minute after midnight on 16 March — 10 days from the day Trump signed it. And the differences between the first and second travel ban orders are a lot more than just the colon separating the words 'Order' and 'Protecting'.

Rather than representing a softening of Trump's position on immigration, the latest version (EO 13780, for short) is likely to be a more palatable form for judges across the country than EO 13769 was. While it still lays down very similar rules, the changes — subtle in some cases and not-so-subtle in others — are noticeable. It may be recalled that the first order 'suspended for 90 days the entry of certain aliens from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen'.

So here's a brief rundown of what's changed:

US President Donald Trump signing a revised executive order. PTI

US president Donald Trump signing the revised executive order. PTI

Iraq's omission from the 'Shady Seven' 
In the first version of the order, Iraq was among seven Islamic countries whose citizens had been 'banned' from entering the US. According to EO 13780, however, "(The) close cooperative relationship between the United States and the democratically-elected Iraqi government, the strong United States diplomatic presence in Iraq, the significant presence of United States forces in Iraq, and Iraq's commitment to combat (Islamic State) justify different treatment for Iraq".

And so, the order adds that "(decisions) about issuance of visas or granting admission to Iraqi nationals should be subjected to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants have connections with (Islamic State) or other terrorist organisations, or otherwise pose a risk to either national security or public safety".

Here's a more detailed explanation as to why Iraq was left off the list this time around.

No religious bias when it comes to refugees
EO 13769 had articulated Trump's demand to "prioritise refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality". Taken in context of the seven six countries on the travel ban list, it means that non-Muslims would be prioritised. However, in the second iteration, this clause disappears.

EO 13780 states: "While that order allowed for prioritisation of refugee claims from members of persecuted religious minority groups, that priority applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion. That order was not motivated by animus toward any religion, but was instead intended to protect the ability of religious minorities — whoever they are and wherever they reside..."

Slight relaxation of USRAP suspension
The first executive order effectively suspended the US Refugee Admissions Programme (USRAP) for 120 days and that government departments would "review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken". The second order saw Trump instruct "the secretary of state and the secretary of homeland security to jointly grant case-by-case waivers when they determined that it was in the national interest to do so".

Visa revocation policy also relaxed
As pointed out by CNN, nearly 60,000 existing visas had been revoked (according to the Department of State) since the signing of the 27 January order. EO 13780 seeks to set this right by stating, "Any individual whose visa was marked revoked or marked canceled as a result of (EO 13769) shall be entitled to a travel document confirming that the individual is permitted to travel to the United States and seek entry".

Scope of exemption from suspension of entry broadened
As per Section 3 of Monday's executive order, people under the following categories will be exempt from having their entry to the US suspended:

1) Those who are in the US on 16 March — the date on which the latest order comes into effect
2) Those who had a valid visa at 5 pm ET on 27 January
3) Those who have a valid visa on 16 March
4) Those who are lawful permanent residents of the United States or are green card-holders
5) Foreign nationals admitted to or paroled into the United States on or after 16 March
6) Foreign nationals who have documents other than a visa, valid on 16 March or issued on any date thereafter, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission, such as an advance parole document
7) Those who hold dual national of a country (not one of the six banned countries) and are travelling on a passport issued by that country
8) Foreign nationals travelling on diplomatic visas
9) Foreign nationals who have already been granted asylum

The new order exists, the old one doesn't
Perhaps expectedly, in EO 13780, Trump stated that he is "revoking (EO 13769) and replacing it with this order, which expressly excludes from the suspensions categories of aliens that have prompted judicial concerns and which clarifies or refines the approach to certain other issues or categories of affected aliens".

Read the full text of Trump's latest executive order here

Updated Date: Mar 08, 2017 08:38 AM

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