U.S. President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order on Monday, barring citizens of six Muslim majority countries.
The new order comes after Trump’s controversial first ban in January was blocked in the federal courts.
It includes a 90-day ban on travel to U.S. by citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Iraq, which was included in the previous version, was taken off the list.
The new measure, which takes effect on March16, also reinstates suspension of refugee program for 120 days.
Trump’s original order sparked chaos and protests at airports, where visa holders were detained and deported back to their home countries.
“As threats to our security continue to evolve and change, common sense dictates that we continually re-evaluate and reassess the systems we rely upon to protect our country,” U.S. Secretar of State Rex Tillerson said in a press conference after Trump signed the new order.
The new ban applies only to new visa applications, meaning some 60,000 people whose visas were revoked under the previous order will now be allowed to enter.
Despite the new ban, rights groups have condemned it as a “Muslim ban”.
“The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible. Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrant Rights Project.
“The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban,” he said in a statement.
(Source: Reuters, Al Jazeera)