President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order on Monday banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from travelling to the United States but removing Iraq from the list, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts.
The new order, which takes effect on March 16, keeps a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It applies only to new visa applicants, meaning some 60,000 people whose visas were revoked under the previous order will now be permitted to enter.
Immigration advocates said the new ban still discriminated against Muslims and failed to address some of their concerns with the previous order. Legal experts said it would, however, be harder to challenge because it affects fewer people living in the United States and allows more exemptions to protect them.
Trump, who first proposed a temporary travel ban on Muslims during his presidential campaign last year, had said his original Jan. 27 executive order was a national security measure meant to head off attacks by Islamist militants.
It sparked chaos and protests at airports, where visa holders were detained and later deported back to their home countries. It also drew criticism from targeted countries, Western allies and some of America’s leading corporations before a U.S. judge suspended it on Feb. 3.
“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,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters after Trump signed the new order.