It was on Monday that US President Donald Trump signed a new travel ban. His administration hopes that the new ban will end legal challenges by imposing a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas for citizens of six majority-Muslim nations.
Experts say that the new ban will be more difficult to challenge in court since it no longer covers legal residents or existing visa holders. It also makes waivers possible for some business, diplomatic and other travellers, hence making it difficult for people in the United States who can legally claim they have been harmed.
The new ban will be put into effect from March 16. It removes Iraq and adds categories of people who would be exempted from the order.
The Trump administration said the executive order is necessary for national security reasons.
Trump first signed the executive order on January 27 banning travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for 90 days and halted refugee admission for four months, barring Syrian refugees indefinitely.
The hasty implementation caused chaos and protests at airports. The order was hit with more than two dozen lawsuits, many that claimed it discriminated against Muslims.
The new ban lists groups of people that could be eligible for waivers, including travellers who have previously been admitted to the United States for work or school, those seeking to visit or live with a close relative and who would face hardship if denied entry; infants, young children and adoptees or people in need of medical care, employees of the US government and international organizations among others.
Trump had assured that a new order being brought by him would be harder to fight in court and many changes were expected.