Donald Trump has signed a new travel ban to temporarily stop entry to the US for people from six Muslim-majority nations.
The US president’s directive aims to address legal issues with the original order. The previous order caused much confusion at airports, sparked protests and was ultimately blocked by federal courts.
The revised order is narrower and specifies that a 90-day ban on people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen does not apply to those who already have valid visas.
In a twist of events, The White House dropped Iraq from the list of targeted countries. This was after pressure from the Pentagon and state department to reconsider given Iraq’s role in fighting Daesh.
Some commentators have claimed that Trump has dropped Iraq due to the country’s oil reserves being of benefit to the US.
Iraq has agreed to ‘increase co-operation with the US government on the vetting of its citizens applying for a visa to travel to the United States’.
An Iraqi spokesman said the change was a ‘positive step’.
Mr Trump’s staff said that, even with the changes, the goal of the new order was the same as the first. He elaborated by stating its purpose is to keep would-be terrorists out of the US while the government conducted further reviews on those nations’ visa applicants.
Those countries will then have 50 days to comply with requests to update or improve that information.
Additionally, Mr Trump’s order suspends the US refugee programme for 120 days, although those already scheduled for travel will be allowed entry.
Following this, the number of refugees allowed into the US will be capped at 50,000 for 2017.
Experts say the new order addresses some of the constitutional concerns raised by the initial ban but leaves room for more legal challenges.