US President Donald Trump signs new travel ban, exempts Iraq
The new order, which excludes Iraq from the original list of seven countries, will go into effect from March 16. The executive order bars citizens from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering America for 90 days. Trump signed the new order behind closed doors around 11:30 a.m.
Iraq was removed from the list after assurances from the Iraqi government of increased information sharing with the US, a senior Department of Homeland Security official told reporters on Monday.
Visas revoked because of the original travel ban have been fully restored, according to the State Department.
Trump's original orders temporarily blocked citizens of Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya from coming to the United States and put on hold the US refugee programme. The directive includes a 120-day ban on all refugees.
Critics had accused the administration of adding such language to help Christians get into the United States while excluding Muslims. Trump signed his original executive order in late January, sparking confusion and anger as travelers were detained at US airports and barred from boarding flights at foreign airports. The signing is expected to spark a new round of lawsuits and controversy.
OneIndia News (with inputs from agencies)