WASHINGTON (CBS NEWS) – President Trump signed a new executive order Monday that will impose a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas to people from six predominantly Muslim nations and will suspend the U.S. refugee program for all countries for 120 days, a senior Department of Homeland Security official said Monday.
Unlike the original executive order from Jan. 27 that now sits in legal limbo, Iraq is the one country excluded from the 90-day ban, the official said, because the Iraqi government has made “firm commitments” to the U.S. to work toward increased cooperation in terms of information-sharing.
The revised order will also not block Syrian refugees from the U.S. indefinitely, as the original ban had directed, and the 120-day halt to the refugee program will apply to all countries. Like the original order, the administration is lowering the previous administration’s cap for refugees admitted to the U.S. from 110,000 to 50,000 for the current fiscal year.
The 90-day ban, which will apply to Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Yemen, will not take effect until March 16 at 12:01 a.m., the DHS official said, who added that it will lead to a “very orderly process” and there will not be “chaos” at airports or people being stopped in the airports on Monday night.
Lawful permanent residents, or people who have green cards, as well as people with current valid visas are exempt and not affected by the new order, the official said. For people whose visas were provisionally revoked as a result of the original travel ban on Jan. 27, they will still be able to travel to the U.S., the official said.
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly released the following statement on the President’s Executive Order signed Monday:
“Fourteen years ago on March 1, 2003, DHS was established. We did so as a nation because we needed to rethink our approach to homeland security. Many will recall the conclusions we reached then; that we needed to overcome a “lack of imagination” with regard to the threats we faced, and, second, that we needed to overcome our collective inability to take the dots of intelligence and arrange them into a more comprehensive picture of the threats posed to America and our way of life.
“Though much has changed since then, both in the world and at DHS, it is clear that Americans are not invulnerable to terrorist threats, and that our enemies will exploit our freedoms and generosity to harm us.
“The Executive Order signed today by President Trump will make America safer, and address long-overdue concerns about the security of our immigration system. We must undertake a rigorous review of our visa and refugee vetting programs to increase our confidence in the entry decisions we make for visitors and immigrants to the United States. We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives.
“The Executive Order signed today is prospective in nature—applying only to foreign nationals outside of the United States who do not have a valid visa. It is important to note that nothing in this executive order affects current lawful permanent residents or persons with current authorization to enter our country. If you have a current valid visa to travel, we welcome you. But unregulated, unvetted travel is not a universal privilege, especially when national security is at stake.
“The Department of Homeland Security has worked closely with the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the White House to create an executive order that addresses our information concerns while protecting the homeland and our citizens.
“The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security—like their brothers and sisters throughout law enforcement—are decent Americans of character and conscience. They are no less so than the governors of our states and territories, of our senators and members of the congress, of our city mayors and advocacy groups. They are sworn to enforce the laws as passed by the U.S. Congress and would be in violation of the law—and their sworn oaths—if they did not do so. We will continue to work closely with our operating components and across government to implement and enforce it humanely, respectfully, and with professionalism.
“I want to thank the President for his leadership on this issue and his steadfast support of DHS’ important law enforcement, security, and counterterrorism missions.”