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Revised Travel Ban Targets Same Areas  02/20 09:09

   A draft of President Donald Trump's revised immigration ban targets the same 
seven countries listed in his original executive order and exempts travelers 
who already have a visa to travel to the U.S., even if they haven't used it yet.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- A draft of President Donald Trump's revised immigration 
ban targets the same seven countries listed in his original executive order and 
exempts travelers who already have a visa to travel to the U.S., even if they 
haven't used it yet.

   A senior administration official said the order, which Trump revised after 
federal courts held up his original immigration and refugee ban, will target 
only those same seven Muslim-majority countries --- Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, 
Somalia, Sudan and Libya.

   The official said that green-card holders and dual citizens of the U.S. and 
any of those countries are exempt. The new draft also no longer directs 
authorities to single out --- and reject --- Syrian refugees when processing 
new visa applications.

   The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the order before 
it's made public. The official noted that the draft is subject to change ahead 
of its signing, which Trump said could come sometime this week.

   Asked about the revised order, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee 
Sanders said the document circulating was a draft and that a final version 
should be released soon. The Department of Homeland Security did not 
immediately respond to a request for comment.

   The Wall Street Journal also reported that the current draft of the revised 
order focused on the seven countries but excluded those with green cards.

   Trump's original executive order triggered chaos at airports around the 
world, as travelers were detained when the order rapidly went into effect, and 
U.S. permanent residents known as green-card holders were among them. Attorneys 
provided legal assistance to those held and protesters descended on the 
airports as news of the order's implementation spread. In its original form, 
the order temporarily suspended all travel to the U.S. for citizens of those 
seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

   The original order also called for Homeland Security and State department 
officials, along with the director of national intelligence, to review what 
information the government needs to fully vet would-be visitors and come up 
with a list of countries that can't or won't make the information available. It 
said the government will give countries 60 days to start providing the 
information or citizens from those countries will be barred from traveling to 
the United States.

   Even if Syrian refugees are no longer automatically rejected under the new 
order, the pace of refugees entering the U.S. from all countries is likely to 
slow significantly. That's because even when the courts put Trump's original 
ban on hold, they left untouched Trump's 50,000-per-year refugee cap, a cut of 
more than half from the cap under the Obama administration.

   The U.S. has already taken in more than 35,000 refugees this year, leaving 
less than 15,000 spots before hitting Trump's cap, according to a U.S. 
official. That means that for the rest of this fiscal year, the number of 
refugees being let in per week will likely fall to a fraction of what it had 
been under the Obama administration's cap of 110,000.

   Earlier this month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco 
refused to reinstate Trump's ban, unanimously rejecting the administration's 
claim of presidential authority, questioning its motives and concluding that 
the order was unlikely to survive legal challenges. The pushback prompted Trump 
to tweet "SEE YOU IN COURT!" and he has since lashed out at the judicial 
branch, accusing it of issuing a politically motivated decision.

   Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Saturday that Trump is working 
on a "streamlined" version of his executive order banning travel from the seven 
nations to iron out the difficulties that landed his first order in the courts.

   Speaking at the Munich Security Conference about combating terrorism, Kelly 
said Trump's original order was designed as a "temporary pause" to allow him to 
"see where our immigration and vetting system has gaps --- and gaps it has --- 
that could be exploited."

   He said the Trump administration was surprised when U.S. courts blocked the 
executive order and now "the president is contemplating releasing a tighter, 
more streamlined version" of the travel ban.

   Kelly said this next time he will be able to "make sure that there's no one 
caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports."

   Kelly mentioned "seven nations" again on Saturday, leading to speculation 
they will all be included in Trump's next executive order.

   Trump's order sparked an immediate backlash and sowed chaos and outrage, 
with travelers detained at airports, panicked families searching for relatives 
and protesters marching against the sweeping measure --- parts of which were 
blocked by several federal courts.

   Protests were held across the country, including in sight of the Statue of 
Liberty and Ellis Island in New York City, and at international airports where 
travelers were temporarily detained.


(KA)

 
 
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