President Donald Trump just signed an updated version of his executive order on immigration ban. Iraq was notably dropped from the Muslim-majority countries that were banned with Trump’s previous order last January.
The updated travel ban comes six weeks after the original executive order invoked confusion and chaos at airports nationwide.
The first ban was signed by Pres. Trump with great fanfare at the Pentagon and in front of a lot of reporters. According to Trump, he does not want Islamic terrorists in the United States and he wants to ensure that the enemies of the soldiers fighting overseas are not admitted in our country. He said that he will only allow the entry of the people who are in full support of the US.
This time, Trump signed the new order in private. The administration did not offer any explanation as to why Trump opted for a low-key rollout.
Citizens of Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and Iran will be facing a suspension of 90 days for visa processing. According to a summary of the new travel ban by Homeland Security, the administration suspended visa processing because it needs to continue analyzing how vetting procedures can be enhanced.
Iraq was removed from the list of countries that are banned after talks with Baghdad’s security officials. This was also urged by US officials from the Department of Defense because they felt that the previous ban undermined the US-allied government’s stability.
Homeland Security wrote: “From the negotiations that took place between the US Department of State and the Government of Iraq last month, Iraqis will be increasing their cooperation with our government on examinations of visa applications for US travel.”
Iraq has agreed to bolster information sharing about dangerous nationals and to enhance the quality of all travel documents, officials said.
The new executive order was delayed because the White House wanted to maximize its impact on public relations and to coordinate its activities better with federal agencies, according to administration officials.
On Monday morning, Homeland Security officials held a conference call along with reporters, as well as officials from the Department of Justice and Department of State to defend the original executive order of the President. According to some of the officials, the rewrite or the updated version is intended to quickly address legal concerns that are considered as an urgent threat to national security.
Participants of the call did not supply their names as a break to the standard practice. This is even from the fact that the journalists agreed in keeping their identities anonymous.
The ban’s timing, as what most would assume, is perfect since the White House wanted to reset its political narrative. It had a tumultuous week which began with an address to Congress. The success of the address, however, was quickly overshadowed with controversies including Trump’s claim that Obama ‘bugged’ Trump Tower’s phones during last year’s presidential race. Attorney General Sessions also failed to notify the Senate of contacts he made with a diplomat in behalf of Kremlin.