New U.S. Immigration Order Drops Iraq From Travel-Ban List
U.S. President Donald Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens would be temporarily barred from entering the United States, U.S. officials have told the Associated Press.
The decision followed pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, which had urged the White House to reconsider Iraq's inclusion given its key role in fighting the extremist group Islamic State (IS), according to several officials who talked to Associated Press on February 28.
Citizens of six other predominantly Muslim countries -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen -- will remain on the travel-ban list, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the order before it is signed. Those bans are effective for 90 days.
The new measure includes other amendments as well. The document no longer singles out Syrian refugees for an indefinite ban, the officials said.
The order includes them instead as part of a general, 120-day suspension of new refugee admissions.
The officials also said the order will not contain any explicit exemption for religious minorities from the states targeted by the order ban.
The Trump administration had been accused of adding such language to help Christians get into the United States while excluding Muslims.
Trump is expected to sign the executive order over the next several days, the officials said.
The immigration order that Trump signed in late January has been stalled by a court challenge.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.