According to a fact sheet the administration sent to Congress, President Trump is preparing to sign a new executive order Monday that White House officials hope can withstand legal scrutiny in imposing a 90-day ban on US entry for new visa seekers from six majority-Muslim nations. The order will go into effect on March 16.
Additionally, the nation’s refugee program will be suspended for 120 days, and it will not accept more than 50,000 refugees in a year, down from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration.
The new guidelines name six of the seven countries included in the first executive order, but it excludes Iraq. The fact sheet states that the nation will increase cooperation with the United States on additional security vetting under separate negotiations and its citizens are not subject to the new order, which provides other exceptions not contained in previous versions: for travelers from those countries who are legal permanent residents of the United States, dual nationals who use a passport from another country, those attending diplomatic missions, and those who have been granted asylum or refugee status. It will attempt to outline a more robust national security justification; the fact sheet said 300 people who entered the country as refugees were currently the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations.
“The United States has the world’s most generous immigration system, yet it has been repeatedly exploited by terrorists and other malicious actors who seek to do us harm,” the fact sheet stated.
The order represents an attempt by the Trump administration to tighten security requirements for travelers from nations that officials said represent a terrorism threat. In January, there were mass protests across the country as travelers en route to the United States were detained at airports after the surprise order was announced.
A federal district judge in Washington state first suspended the travel ban on February 3, and a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit later upheld that freeze.
Now that the order has been revised, it is expected to be more defensible in court — limiting the number of people with standing to sue — though they might not allay all the concerns raised by judges across the country. For example, the three-judge panel with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, said that exempting green card and current visa holders from the ban would not address their concern about US citizens with an interest in non-citizens travel.