President Trump’s Revised Executive Order — Everything You Need to Know
This morning, President Trump signed a revised executive order that will go into effect on March 16. Here’s a quick comparison and explanation
On January 2, 2017, just 7 days after taking office, President Donald Trump implemented a temporary travel ban via executive order, momentarily halting immigration from 7 Middle Eastern and North African “countries of concern” previously identified by the Obama Administration, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The executive order was for a 90 day hold while American Intelligence and Immigration Offices could review and revise their current vetting systems. It also halted the Syrian refugee program indefinitely.
President Trump’s initial executive order did not allow all current VISA holders entrance into the US. It also determined that people of minority religions that were fleeing the aforementioned countries for reasons of religious persecution would be granted priority status, as they are the refugees in the most immediate danger. Two days after it’s inception and following massive protests around the country Bob Ferguson, Attorney General for the state of Washington, filed suit against the President’s executive order, calling it “unlawful and unconstitutional.”
On February 7, 2017 they argued via telephone conference to a panel of 3 judges on the 9th circuit court. The Washington State attorney argued loss of revenue for the state, and pain and suffering for family members that were separated during the immigration and travel hold. The Department of Justice argued the President has the right to halt immigration from any country or countries in the interest of National Security.
The courts sided with Washington State and the Executive Order on Immigration was ceased. Now, five weeks later, the Trump Administration has signed a new Executive Order implementing new travel and immigration guidelines. Unlike the original order with it’s sweeping and immediate impact, the revised copy allows for an implementation wave, as it will be phased in over the next 2 weeks. The new order also exempts any American citizens and all current VISA holders who have already undergone a rigorous vetting process. It only applies to foreign nationals.
“Unregulated, un-vetted travel is not a universal privilege, especially when national security is at stake,” General John F Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security
Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the Order a “watered-down version, mean spirited, and un-American”, and promised the GOP leader it would be fought in court.
The “revised” Executive Order, signed on March 6, 2017 is for six countries, leaving off Iraq, previously on the first order. According to the White House, it was determined that after new counsel from the President’s foreign policy advisers and American diplomats in Baghdad, keeping Iraq on the list would cause instability with our ally in the area. The Iraqi government has agreed to follow American laws and protocols concerning the vetting process of immigrants from that country, which they previously had refused to do. The US department of Homeland Security commented, “On the basis of negotiations that have taken place between the Government of Iraq and the U.S. Department of State in the last month, Iraq will increase cooperation with the U.S. Government on the vetting of its citizens applying for a visa to travel to the United States.”
The new Order places a definite timetable for re-implementation of the Syrian refugee program and does not allow for those fleeing the named countries for religious reasons to be given priority status. The Trump administration claims these changes will allow enough time for American Intelligence Offices to review and revise their current vetting processes while eliminating the legal reasons for the overturn of the initial Executive Order.