Trump revises travel ban, Iraq excluded from the list

US President Donald Trump signed a new executive order on 6 March 2017, reinstating a ban on immigration from six of the previously banned Muslim majority countries for three months and all refugees for four months. The countries featuring on the banned list include Libya, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia. Iraq, which was included in the previous ban, was spared from the current one after agreeing for additional visa vetting measures.

The decision to exclude Iraq from the list was welcomed by the Iraqi foreign ministry and it said that this order will enhance US-Iraqi cooperation in the fight against Islamic State terrorists. The new ban will come into effect on 16 March 2017. The new order exempts permanent residents and current visa holders who had initially been covered by the previous order.

It also dropped language offering preferential status to persecuted religious minorities for refugee settlement, a provision that had been viewed as targeting Muslims. This revised order was unveiled by the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security John Kelly.

The order also gives permission to refugees who had already received approval from the State department to enter the United States. It also lifts the indefinite ban imposed on all Syrian refugees. Trump’s previous executive order, his first immigration directive, was faced with wide-scale protests, especially at the nation’s airports. It was ultimately blocked by a federal appeals court.

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