After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a restraining order on a travel ban in February, the Trump administration has rolled out a second version of the order. The new order, which goes into effect on March 16, suspends immigration to the United States from six predominantly-Muslim countries.
The order affects nationals from six countries– Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Libya. For a 90-day period, from the effective start date, nationals from the affected countries are barred from entering the United States.
“We must undertake a rigorous review of our visa and refugee vetting programs to increase our confidence in the entry decisions we make for visitors and immigrants to the United States,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly remarked on the order.
Previously, Iraq was also named as one of the countries affected by the travel ban. Because the Iraqi government has revised its information-sharing methods, the new travel ban doesn’t affect nationals in that country.
Existing visas that have been approved before March 16 aren’t affected by the new executive order. The order also doesn’t affect current green card holders. Additionally, visas previously revoked under the original executive order have been fully restored, according to an NBC news story.
“If you have a current valid visa to travel, we welcome you,” Secretary Kelly said.
While the new order loosens some aspects of the travel ban introduced in the original executive order, President Trump still aims to curb the number of refugees– no more than 50,000 this year– allowed into the country. However, refugees from each of the countries face a 120-day suspension of refugee resettlement as government officials review the refugee program. Additionally, Syrian refugees are no longer singled out in facing a blanket ban in moving to the United States.
“Although this rollout was more traditional and the order’s language was better tailored to pass legal muster after the original policy was ultimately stalled in the courts, the new travel order mostly adhered to the old order’s roots,” according to the NBC report. “While the executive order’s premise and goals remain the same, the administration’s approach was markedly different as it prepared for a second take.”
The new executive order addresses many of the criticisms that befell the original order, including garnering more comprehensive input from members of Congress. Still, administration officials call the court’s previous halt to implementing the travel ban misguided. Officials reportedly expect additional challenges with the new order.