After three weeks of delays, travel ban 2.0 was signed in the Oval Office on Monday. Away from reporters and cameras.
Following last month’s travel ban, President Donald Trump signed a new executive order which bans immigration from six Muslim-majority countries. The new ban excludes Iraq from the list and brings back temporary ban on all refugees.
Six weeks ago after the first travel ban, airports were blocked nationwide. The executive order ignited criticisms regarding religious bias. Travel ban 2.0, however, is a lighter version of the first ban. The government took out language in the original ban which forever banned Syrian refugees.
The new ban will begin on March 16. It does not affect legal US permanent residents from the six banned countries, nor those who have valid visas to enter America and visas that were revoked during the original ban. It will block Syrians, Iranians, Libyans, Somalians, Sudanese and Yemenis from obtaining visas for a minimum of 90 days.
According to CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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.
The new ban suspends admissions of refugees entering the U.S. for 120 days, which urges U.S. officials to improve the vetting process, one that is already deemed as strict.
The delay of signing the new executive order came Iraqi government officials who lobbied and asked for Iraq to be removed from the list. After the State Department’s review to collaborate with Iraqi government on a joint vetting process of Iraqi citizens, Iraq was not included on the list of banned countries in the end.
Though the new travel ban does not prioritize religious minorities when considering refugee admission cases, many still consider the ban as a repeat of the original. Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana, one of two Muslims in the House of Representatives tweeted:
I didn't agree w/ the first version & I don't agree w/ today's version. My statement on the repackaged Muslim Ban-> https://t.co/pqVpQleUAt
— André Carson (@RepAndreCarson) March 6, 2017