U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign a new executive order on Monday suspending refugee admissions and banning entry to people from six Muslim-majority countries.
The order is a revised version of one Trump signed in late January, arguing the move was necessary to review the vetting process and protect national security. It banned entry to people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.
Officials say the new order will remove Iraq from the list, but the others will remain under a temporary ban.
The temporary ban on refugees will also appear in the new order, but Syrians will no longer be singled out for a further indefinite ban.
Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Trump, told Fox News Monday that the ban will take effect on March 16 and will not affect immigrants with visas or legal permanent residents.
The executive order has been in the works for several weeks, along with speculation it would be signed at any time.Trump's official schedule for Monday does not include any mention of signing an executive order.Multiple previous orders have appeared on the daily schedule issued by the White House.
Previous order blocked
A federal appeals court barred implementation of the original order, a move the Trump administration has continued to fight as it crafted the revised version.The legal challenges brought by multiple states could eventually wind up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The travel ban caused chaos in airports around the world as immigration officials tried to figure out if it also affected travelers with permanent resident green cards and pre-approved visas.The Department of Homeland Security clarified that people who already had visas were allowed entry, and officials say the new version of the order will also make that clear.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told VOA he hopes the president will come up with an order that “makes sense without getting people who shouldn't be caught in the net.”
“Obviously the first one was overbroad. Ideally we would get...a rule that is carefully targeted on people that are high risk, potentially being foreign fighters, without collecting people that are dual-citizens or may even be able to come to the U.S. that ought to be able to come without impediment,” Chertoff said.
Trump's original order also exempted religious minorities, saying they could be admitted as refugees if facing religious persecution.Critics pointed to the exclusively Muslim-majority nations in the order to say the president was working to help Christians while excluding Muslims.The new version is expected to drop that provision.
Trump originally proposed during his campaign barring Muslims from entering the United States, a proposal he later altered to barring entry to people from countries with links to terrorism.
VOA's Aline Barros contributed to this report