A revised version of President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees could be issued as early as Tuesday, according to multiple reports. Muslims look likely to remain its prime target.
Current drafts of the replacement travel ban continue to exclusively single out the same Muslim-majority countries listed in Trump's initial order, which triggered global protests, more than 20 lawsuits nationwide, and ultimately led to federal courts blocking some of the order's key provisions earlier this month.
U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press that the new immigration order, still under review, will exempt green-card holders from the seven countries included in the travel ban as well as those individuals who are dual citizens of the U.S. The revised order will also likely ease a section in the initial ban, signed by Trump on January 27, that indefinitely suspended the entry of Syrian refugees into the U.S, the Journal and AP reported.
WH source confirms draft of new travel ban Executive Order does not include automatic rejection of Syrian refugees.
— Cecilia Vega (@CeciliaVega) February 20, 2017
Still, the new draft retains the central provision from the original White House order that temporarily suspends travel to the U.S. by citizens from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan — all predominately Muslim countries. The Trump administration has said that people from these nations pose a superlative national security threat, a claim that remains unsubstantiated.
Critics, including two states that successfully sued and blocked the order, have argued that the order amounts to a thinly-veiled attempt at a Muslim ban, an idea repeatedly promoted by Trump and his surrogates before and after the election. To dampen claims that the travel ban amounts to religious discrimination, the new order removes provisions from the original that gave preferences to religious minorities in these countries.
According to a draft, the new travel order will also allow the secretary of state to waive individual cases, which would allow some citizens from the seven countries to enter the U.S. However, those cases would also have to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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