President Donald Trump has issued a new executive order, temporarily blocking travel to the US for residents of six Muslim-majority countries pending revision of visa procedures. The previous travel ban, issued in January, was blocked in federal courts.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new executive order to reporters on Monday.
The order halts the issuance of new US visas to citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for the next 90 days.
Iraq, which was included in the January ban, was left off the list this time after the government in Baghdad agreed to increase cooperation with the US on background checks for its citizens applying for visas, AP reported.
Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal called the decision “an important step in the right direction” that “consolidates the strategic alliance between Baghdad and Washington in many fields, and at their forefront the war on terrorism.”
Tillerson thanked the government in Baghdad for working with the State Department on improving vetting, and called the order “a vital measure for protecting our national security.”
The new order also imposes a 120-day halt on refugee admissions from the six countries. Legal permanent residents (‘Green Card’ holders) from the countries will not be affected, however, Reuters reported citing a fact sheet supplied by the administration.
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