U.S. President Donald Trump just signed a new executive order banning refugees and immigrants from several Muslim majority countries.
The new ban was released today with several changes from the original, which spurred large demonstrations across the country and was frozen in U.S. courts. Trump’s original ban, which was signed on Jan. 27, blocked citizens of Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya from coming to the U.S. and put a hold on the country's refugee program.
Administration officials say the new ban will overcome the legal challenges made against the original order. Here's a look at what will be different in the new order.
1. Iraq will not be included
Trump's original order received significant criticism from counter-terrorism experts and defense experts in the U.S. particularly for its inclusion of Iraq. The Iraqi government is leading efforts to fight against the extremist group ISIS – one of the very groups Trump claims to be blocking with the ban.
The original ban would mean that U.S. supported Iraqi troops fighting extremists would be barred from traveling to the U.S. along with their families and the rest of their country's citizens. Experts argued this would – quite understandably – increase tensions between Iraqis and the U.S.
These concerns were definitely valid, as the Iraqi parliament voted to ban American citizens from visiting in retaliation for Trump's action.
With the news of the country's removal, Iraq has expressed relief.
"The decision is an important step in the right direction, it consolidates the strategic alliance between Baghdad and Washington in many fields, and at their forefront war on terrorism," the Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement, according to The Guardian.
2. Syrian refugees won't be banned indefinitely
The original ban called for the indefinite suspension of America's Syrian refugee resettlement program. Now, under the new order, Syrian refugees will be treated the same as all other refugees.
However, while perhaps slightly better for Syrians, the new order will still block all refugees for 120 days. Language supporting religious minorities over Muslims will be removed from the new order.
3. People with valid visas won't be included
Despite living in the U.S. for years and even decades, permanent residents of the U.S., who were not citizens, found themselves banned from the country following Trump's original order.
Under the new order, permanent residents will be specifically excluded from the ban, regardless of what country they are a citizen of, according to Trump's adviser Kellyanne Conway.
"If you have travel docs, if you actually have a visa, if you are a legal permanent resident, you are not covered under this particular executive action," she said, according to Buzzfeed News.
Her words suggest even those with tourist, student or work visas from the targeted countries will be exempted from the ban.
4. Trump vowed to ban Muslims throughout his campaign
The Trump administration and the president's supporters have argued the ban does not specifically target Muslims.
However, all the countries included in the ban have Muslim majority populations. Trump also vowed to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. throughout his presidential campaign.