The Associated Press reported yesterday that the revised version of President Trump’s temporary immigration ban will focus on the same seven countries as the original draft which was blocked by the courts. From the Associated Press:
A senior administration official said the order, which Trump revised after federal courts held up his original immigration and refugee ban, 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.
One thing that apparently won’t change in the new draft is the cap on immigration which Trump set at 50,000 people for this fiscal year.
…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 less than 15,000 spots before hitting Trump’s cap, according to a U.S. official.
The administration announced last week that it was dropping an appeal of the initial version of the immigration ban. When three judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the ban earlier this month, Trump tweeted this response:
SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
But it seems he is choosing to revise the immigration ban rather fight a tough and possibly losing battle for the previous one. An appeal the Supreme Court was an option, but until Judge Gorsuch is confirmed the court is split 4-4. A tie vote would leave the 9th Circuit ruling in place. That would effectively be a loss for the administration. So in this case, the White House seems to be making the smart play to streamline the order.
The revised executive order is expected to be signed some time this week.