US President Donald Trump signed a new executive order on Monday that temporarily bars people from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the country but exempts travelers holding valid visas.
The decision removes Iraq from an original list for a 90-day travel ban, one of many changes made after the president’s earlier attempt to block people from seven nations was blocked in the courts.
The revised ban applies to the nations of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The order is effective on March 16, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The White House says the ban is intended to stop potential threats to national security.
The original order, issued on Jan. 27, sparked widespread protests and multiple court challenges and was put on hold by the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
With the new order now issued, opponents promised to file fresh court challenges.
The new order still suspends the admission of refugees to the US for 120 days and caps the annual total admission of refugees at 50,000.
But it treats Syrian refugees the same way as those from other countries, whereas the original executive order indefinitely suspended the admission of Syrian refugees.
“It is the president’s solemn duty to protect the American people, and with the order, President Trump is exercising his rightful authority to keep our people safe,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday.
The attorney general in Washington state, Bob Ferguson, who successfully sued to block the first order, said the new version validates his arguments.
“By rescinding his earlier executive order, President Trump makes one thing perfectly clear: His original travel ban was indefensible—legally, constitutionally and morally,” he said, according to the Journal.
“The president has capitulated on numerous key provisions blocked by our lawsuit,” Ferguson said, adding that his state is considering its next legal steps.
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