President Donald Trump today dropped Iraq from a list of countries targeted in a controversial 27 January executive order on immigration. That proclamation caused chaos by blocking nationals of seven largely Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days, and indefinitely blocking Syrian refugees.
Today, Trump rescinded that order and replaced it with a 90-day ban, effective 16 March, on entry of nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The new executive order does not apply to those who currently hold a valid visa, or who held one at the time that the 27 January measure went into effect. It also exempts permanent residents, known as green card holders. It reduces the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees to a 120-day hiatus. And it drops preferential treatment for members of religious minorities fleeing persecution, which was widely read as favoring non-Muslims.
“It is the president's solemn duty to protect the American people, and with this order President Trump is exercising his rightful authority to keep our people safe,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in announcing the order.