Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Trump's new travel order applies to those seeking new visas

Published:Tuesday | March 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM


President Donald Trump signed a revised travel ban yesterday that will temporarily halt entry to the United States for people from six Muslim-majority nations who are seeking new visas, though allowing those with current visas to travel freely.

Trump directive aims to address legal issues with the original order, which caused confusion at airports, sparked protests around the country, and was ultimately blocked by federal courts. That's according to a fact sheet obtained in advance by The Associated Press.

The revised order is narrower and specifies that a 90-day ban on people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, does not apply to those who already have valid visas. The White House also dropped Iraq from the list of targeted countries, following pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, which had urged the White House to reconsider, given Iraq's role in fighting the Islamic State group.

The fact sheet cites negotiations that resulted in Iraq agreeing to "increase cooperation with the US government on the vetting of its citizens applying for a visa to travel to the United States". An Iraqi spokesman said that the change marks a "positive step" and shows that the countries have a "real partnership".

The mere existence of the fact sheet signalled that the White House was taking steps to improve the rollout of the reworked directive. The initial measure was hastily signed at the end of Trump's first week in office, and the White House was roundly criticised for not providing lawmakers, Cabinet officials, and others with information ahead of the signing.