On Monday, March 6, President Donald Trump unveiled his updated executive order limiting entrance of individuals from several predominantly Muslim countries which have evidence of terrorist ties.
The new travel order replaces the original order which was hastily rolled out in late January and then suspended by a Washington State federal judge, whose ruling was later upheld by the 9th District Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
The new executive order has few substantive differences than its predecessor. The most critical change is that the new order exempts existing U.S. visa holders from any travel restrictions.
Iraq has been dropped from the original list of seven countries facing a 90-day pause on visa issuance. The remaining six countries on the list include Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The new order also halts refugee admissions worldwide for 120 days.
The new travel order was announced by three key members of President Trump’s cabinet, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. The decision to make members of Trump’s cabinet the face of this communication was clearly strategic in that by announcing the revised executive order, the three top aides have effectively endorsed it.
Their implicit support will be critical to defending the order against the legal challenges which it will likely once again face. The trio’s participation also gave the appearance that the updated executive order was conceived by a team, not unilaterally by President Trump.
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