US President Donald Trump today signed a revised executive order, temporarily halting entry to the US for people from six Muslim-majority nations who are seeking new visas while dropping Iraq from the list, after worldwide outrage over the controversial immigration policy.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed President Trump signed the order behind closed doors “this morning”.
The latest executive order 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.
Any individual who had a valid visa either on January 27, 2017 (prior to 5:00 PM) or holds a valid visa on the effective date of the Executive Order is not barred from entry into the US, according to the order.
“The 90-day period will allow for proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals,” it says.
The new order drops Iraq’s name from the list of targeted countries, saying Baghdad has agreed to increase cooperation with the US on the vetting of its citizens applying for a visa to travel to America.
“Iraqi citizens are not affected by the Executive Order,” says the order which will come into force on March 16.
The Refugee Admissions Program will also be temporarily suspended for the next 120 days while Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and interagency partners review screening procedures to ensure refugees admitted in the future do not pose a security risk to the US, the new order says.
FBI is currently investigating 300 individuals admitted to the US as refugees for potential terrorism related activities.
Officials hope that this time it will be a very orderly process and there would be no chaos at port of entry. Those people who are travelling on valid visas and arrive at a US port of entry will still be permitted to seek entry into the United States.
President Trump has also directed the State Department and the DHS to make recommendation of any country that could be included in the future suspension of entry into the US.