MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Trump administration unveiled its updated travel ban designed to keep out terrorists on Monday.
The new ban is different in several ways from the one signed in January that caused confusion and protests at U.S. airports and got bogged down in legal challenges.
The White House released a photo of President Donald Trump signing a new executive order imposing a 90-day ban on visas for citizens from six Muslim-majority countries traveling to the U.S.
“We cannot risk the prospect of malevolent actors using our immigration system to take American lives,” said Department of Homeland Security John Kelly.
The updated executive order does not apply to current visa holders and it removed Iraq from the list of banned countries after Iraq agreed to increase vetting of its citizens.
“Iraq is an important ally in the fight to defeat ISIS with their brave soldiers fighting in close coordination with America’s men and women in uniform,” said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The original ban sparked nationwide protests and lawsuits in January with travelers detained and officials scrambling to implement it.
Hoping for a smoother transition, the new order will not take effect until March 16th. The administration also expects this new version to withstand court challenges
Critics of the new order, including Albert Cahn of the Muslim-organization CAIR plans to fight the new travel ban just as vigorously as the last one.
“His lawyers are now trying to paper over the fact that the first executive order was explicitly a Muslim ban and now under the guise of new language they’re trying to say it’s not but we won’t be fooled,” said Cahn.
The executive order also suspends the entire U.S. refugee program for 120 days but it no longer singles out Syrian refugees for an indefinite ban.
The Justice Department said 300 people who arrived in the United States as refugees were currently under investigation for terrorism-related activities, but officials would not say how many of those people were from the six banned countries.