President Donald Trump signed a new executive order Monday that bans immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, dropping Iraq from January’s previous order, and reinstates a temporary blanket ban on all refugees.
The new travel ban comes six weeks after Trump’s original executive order caused chaos at airports nationwide before it was blocked by federal courts. It removes out language in the original order that indefinitely banned Syrian refugees and called for prioritizing the admission of refugees who are religious minorities in their home countries. That provision drew criticism of a religious test for entry and would have prioritized Christians over Muslims fleeing war-torn countries in the Middle East.
The new ban, which takes effect March 16, also explicitly exempts citizens of the six banned countries who are legal US permanent residents or have valid visas to enter the US — including those whose visas were revoked during the original implementation of the ban, senior administration officials said.
“We cannot compromise our nation’s security by allowing visitors entry when their own governments are unable or unwilling to provide the information we need to vet them responsibly, or when those governments actively support terrorism,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday.