New US immigration order will remove Iraq from travel-banned countries' list

Trump is expected to sign the new measure Wednesday after federal courts suspended his first order.

President Donald Trump's new order suspending travel from terror-rife countries will reportedly not include Iraq, in a nod to Secretary of Defense James Mattis's past requests.

The White House's decision to halt suspension of refugees from the seven nations has struck a nerve among some activists.

Trump's ban, announced January 27, temporarily barred citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days, and Syrian citizens indefinitely. The American people did not take the ban well, coming out in droves to protest the order at airports across the nation.

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The revised executive order would put in place a stronger policy justification for restricting travel from certain countries.

The move follows pressure by the Pentagon and the State Department to consider such a revision of January's executive order in consideration of Iraq's contribution to the war against ISIS, the officials were quoted as saying. The officials said that Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen will stay on the list, but Iraq was removed because the country is a crucial partner in the fight against the Islamic State. A senior administration official told CNN that they don't want to undercut coverage of the president's speech. The new order was reportedly drafted to eliminate the legal hitches.

The new executive order is being crafted to avoid violating constitutional protections against religious discrimination, and as Reuters notes excluding legal permanent residents may make it harder for the order's opponents to show they have standing in us courts.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the order before it is signed. The Iraqi parliament even considered banning USA citizens to Iraq in response, potentially endangering the counter-ISIS effort.

  • Darren Santiago