What You Need to Know About President Trump’s New Travel Ban
On Monday morning the White House announced that President Donald Trump–presumably after taking a break from tweeting about everything from wire “tapps” to Arnold Schwarzenegger–signed a new executive order to revise his controversial travel ban.
Unlike the hectic nature of the initial executive order’s rollout, the revised order was announced throughout Monday morning, with Kellyanne Conway going on “Fox & Friends” to explain the alterations, the administration releasing a somewhat comprehensive fact sheet, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions explaining the legality and importance of the new order. Additionally, unlike the original order, which took effect immediately, the updated version will not be implemented for another 10 days. No cameras were around for the actual signing.
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) March 6, 2017
Here’s what you need to know about this new EO:
- The 90-day travel ban will prohibit the issuance of new visas for people from six countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). While the initial order targeted seven countries, Iraq is no longer on the list because “the Iraqi government has expressly undertaken steps to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the return of Iraqi nationals subject to final orders of removal.”
- The order only applies to people who do not already have a visa, which was a point of confusion for the last order. Therefore, green card-holders and current visa-holders will not be affected.
- There is no longer an exception for people of minority religions. The previous order and subsequent comments by President Trump included a not-so-subtle hint that Christian refugees could be prioritized.
- Decisions on applications for refugee status are suspended for 120 days, just like the old EO.
- The cap for the number of refugees that the U.S. will take in 2017 is now set at 50,000 people. The Obama Administration had previously set a goal to accept 110,000 refugees in 2017 (which led to that stupid Skittles tweet).
- The indefinite ban on Syrian refugees has been changed to a ban for a 120-day period, during which the refugee program will be reviewed.
As CNN reported, this new executive order was originally planned to be signed last Wednesday. However, after the unexpectedly positive reception of Trump’s address to Congress, the administration decided to ride the wave of positive coverage before instituting an order that surely would ruffle some feathers.
If you need any proof that the Trump Administration was right to expect that the new order would make people angry, within minutes of the announcement of the order’s signing, organizations like the ACLU released statements criticizing the new ban.
— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 6, 2017