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List of countries from which travelers are banned leaves out Iraq
States go to court as Trump travel ban takes effect

14:50 15 March 2017 Author :  

WASHINGTON

US President Donald Trump's second attempt at a travel ban targeting six countries, which are overwhelmingly Muslim-populated, goes into effect Wednesday, but it is being challenged by at least eight states around the country.

California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, New York, and Washington State are all fighting Trump's Executive Order in court, hoping federal judges will deem it as unconstitutional as January's travel ban.

This time around, the list of countries from which travelers are banned leaves out Iraq, and allows US visa-holders and dual citizens to enter the US. Banned for 90 days are citizens and refugees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The White House said Iraq was exempted because its government is now sharing screening information with US agencies.

Travel ban 2.0, as it is commonly referred to, will allow for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials to issue waivers on a "case-by-case basis," if turning travelers around "would cause undue hardship, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest," according to the text of the document.

Meanwhile, Syrian refugees already being screened by the State Department will be allowed in, but all others will be banned for 120 days - a change from being banned "indefinitely," as the first Executive Order said.

And no longer will there be a priority for Christian refugees - a provision that was heavily criticized as favoring one religion over another.
The states challenging the ban maintain that it is still discriminatory and also harmful to the economy, as foreign students and tourists will be kept out.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly have insisted that the ban is a "temporary pause" to reassess the screening process, and told reporters that this time around, the Order was legally reviewed to avoid the chaos that ensued at airports around the world some weeks ago.

"At present, more than 300 persons who came to the United States as refugees are under investigation for potential terrorism-related activities," Sessions and Kelly wrote in a letter to Trump when he signed the revised Order last week.

"There are currently approximately 1,000 pending domestic terrorism-related investigations, and it is believed that a majority of those subjects are inspired, at least in part, by [the so-called Islamic State]," they affirmed.

"We believe that it is imperative that we have a temporary pause on the entry of nationals from certain countries to allow this review [of US screening processes] to take place - a temporary pause that will immediately diminish the risk we face from application of our current vetting and screening programs for individuals seeking entry to the United States," Session and Kelly said.

Protests by rights groups are already planned for Saturday at Washington's Dulles airport, among others around the country.

KUNA

  • عنوان تمهيدي: List of countries from which travelers are banned leaves out Iraq
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