AP: Trump's revised travel ban targets same countries

Updated:

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.

Here’s a quick recap to why a new order will be signed:

  • President Trump’s first order in January established a 120-day ban on refugees, and a 90-day ban on visitors from seven predominately Muslim countries thought to be a security risk to the United States. It triggered chaos at airports around the world, as travelers were detained when the order went into effect, and U.S. permanent residents known as green-card holders were among them.
  • Washington state was the first state to challenge the president's initial executive order on Jan. 30. A Seattle judge halted the ban and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling to keep the travel ban blocked.
  • President Trump’s administration said in a court filing on Thursday that it will replace the travel ban with a new one. Hours later, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office sent a news release to KIRO 7 News, declaring victory in his State v. Trump case.
  • The new order is expected to come out this week.

 

A senior administration official told The Associated Press that the new order 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.

>> RELATED: Wash. AG declares victory in lawsuit against Trump's travel ban

President Trump spoke about the upcoming order last week in a news conference that ran more than an hour long.

The Associated Press 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.

Scroll down below for a timeline of events, and below that you can find an expanded questions-and-answers section. 

About Trump’s original travel ban

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 being 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.

>> Related: Local tech giants willing to testify in AG's case against Trump's immigration ban

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.

What Washington state filed and how the courts ruled

Ferguson announced a complaint that asked the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington to declare key provisions of the executive order unconstitutional and illegal.

Ferguson also filed a motion for temporary restraining order seeking an immediate halt to the executive order’s implementation in the state and nationwide. 

>> Read a full explainer on the lawsuit here. 

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart of Seattle issued a ruling last week granting the restraining order brought by the state of Washington. This means Robart’s decision temporarily halted Trump’s travel ban. The Department of Justice filed a motion with the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals -- requesting President Donald Trump's travel ban be temporarily resumed pending the White House’s appeal. 

After arguments, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges upheld a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban.

>> Related: More than 27,000 people viewed KIRO 7 News’ stream of the arguments on Facebook. 

Nearly a week later, Trump’s administration said in a court filing that it would replace the travel ban with a new one.

Ferguson said he is prepared to sue Trump again if he believes that Washington state is harmed by White House actions.

Trump administration gives details on new order

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.

What the new order could mean for refugees

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 fewer 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.

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