Politico

Trump expected to issue revised travel ban Wednesday

Written by Lisa

President Donald Trump is expected to issue a revamped travel ban on Wednesday restricting inbound travel and immigration from the same seven Muslim countries targeted in a legally contested earlier order, sources said.

The revised order is also believed to temporarily halt all refugee admissions, but not single out Syrian refugees for an indefinite ban.

Unlike the hastily signed original order, which was suspended by a federal judge, the new version is not expected to affect green card holders or people already in possession of U.S. visas, according to a source briefed on a draft of the order.

Trump initially said the new directive would be signed more than a week ago. It’s not clear whether the administration plans to rescind its original order or continue to defend it in court.

“The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad decision, but we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything, in some ways more,” Trump said at a White House news conference earlier this month. “We have some of the best lawyers in the country working on it.”

When the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a nationwide block on key parts of the original order, Trump complained about judicial activism and vowed in a tweet shortly after the ruling “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

But rather than appealing to the Supreme Court, the White House has instead spent much of the nearly three weeks since trying to craft a new order that can withstand more than two dozen pending legal challenges by advocacy groups, including the ACLU. Those federal lawsuits are likely to be quickly redrafted to target the new order.

“The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad decision, but we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything, in some ways more,” Trump said at a White House news conference earlier this month. “We have some of the best lawyers in the country working on it.”

Excluding current visa holders could buttress the ban in court because those with existing ties to the U.S., such as students enrolled at American universities, are generally viewed as having more robust legal rights than prospective travelers who’ve never been to the U.S.

In defending the previous ban, administration lawyers claimed that not immediately enacting stricter vetting measures on immigrants and travelers creates an imminent security risk in the U.S., but offered little tangible evidence to back up that view. The countries targeted are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The White House directed the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and various intelligence agencies to help build a legal foundation for the revamped executive order by demonstrating the seriousness of a potential security threat after the original order was blocked in court.

That order, issued only seven days after the president took office, placed a 90-day block on admission of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

However, several judges who looked at the order questioned the factual basis for the selection of the seven targeted countries. Trump administration officials said the nations were on an Obama-era list adopted by Congress, but some terrorism experts noted that countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were omitted even though their national have been involved in terror attacks on U.S. soil.

Trump’s first travel ban directive also included a 120-day halt to all refugee admissions, indefinite suspension of the admission of Syrian refugees and preference for refugees who are members of persecuted religious minorities.

The travel moratorium sparked large protests and widespread chaos at the country’s busiest airports as at least 60,000 visas were canceled.

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