President Trump signed a new executive order today imposing a 90-day entry ban to
citizens from six Muslim-majority nations; Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The new travel ban omits Iraq. The move comes after the administration's previous travel ban was blocked in federal courts. The order cites again a need for "screening and vetting procedures" due to terrorism threat.
The executive order also suspends the US refugee program for 120 days and reduces to 50,000 the number of refugees US will accept in 2017. The order is to take effect on March 16.
The order is narrower than the previous one. It only applies to individuals who do not hold a US visa effective today. The executive order clarifies that the suspension of entry will not apply to: - US lawful permanent residents ( or green card holders); - foreign nationals who have already been admitted or may apply for admission based on previously issued visa or travel documents; - dual nationals of designated countries when the individual is travelling on passport issued by a non-designated country; - foreign nationals travelling on diplomatic or diplomatic-type visas, and - foreign nationals who have been granted asylum, refugees already admitted to the US
The order makes clear that all visas issued before the effective date of this order shall be valid for the purpose of travelling to the US. The order also provides for the availability of case-by-case waivers for:
those previously admitted to the US for a "continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity" and seeks to resume the same activity,
those with "significant business or professional obligations", those seeking to "visit or reside with a close family member" who are either US citizens, lawful permanent residents or otherwise legally admitted to the US
children seeking urgent medical care
those who have been employed by the US Government
foreign nationals working for international organizations
landed Canadian immigrants who apply for a US visa within Canada
US government-sponsored exchange visitors`.
It remains unclear whether or not the new ban will affect visa petitions and other immigration benefits applications, such as applications to change or extend status, currently pending before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already vowed to challenge the new executive order in federal court.