On March 6, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a new executive order (EO), "Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States," which will soon ban foreign travel into the U.S. from six nations and suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for a limited period of time.
The previous travel ban, EO 13769 (signed on January 27, 2017), sparked controversy for causing chaos at U.S. airports and led to a number of federal court cases challenging whether it discriminated against Muslim travelers. The previous version of the travel ban was halted by a federal judge on February 3, 2017, which led President Trump and his advisers to craft this "Travel Ban Version 2.0," revoking the January 27th EO in its entirety.
The new EO acknowledges those U.S. visa holders who were thrown into turmoil in late January/early February by having their visas cancelled by the U.S. Department of State. These individuals will be entitled to receive a special travel document allowing them to travel to the United States.
Although the new travel ban is more narrow in scope, it will likely also face numerous legal challenges.
Here is what will go into effect at midnight on March 16, 2017 (barring any future court orders):
1. A suspension of U.S. travel for citizens om Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Libya who did not have a valid U.S. visa as of 5:00 PM on January 27, 2017 and do not have a valid visa as of March 6, 2017 for a period of 90 days.
2. A suspension of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for a period of 120 days.
3. Calls for the implementation of new vetting standards for all U.S. immigration categories, giving states a voice in refugee resettlement, rescinding the waiver of admissibility for terrorist activities, and mandating a full review of visa reciprocity.
4. Orders the immediate suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program (under which certain repeat travelers need not appear in person for a meeting with a U.S. consular official before being approved for a visa) and the expansion of the Consular Fellows Program (allowing for hires of consular employees who are not on a long-term, career Foreign Service track).
5. Mandates data collection regarding the number of foreign nationals charged with, convicted of, or deported for terrorism-related offenses, the number of "radicalized" foreign nationals in the U.S., and the number of "honor killings" perpetrated in the United States.