Well this will surely go over well. President Donald Trump signed an executive order this morning limiting visas from certain countries as well as a temporary halt to refugee approvals from the same countries for a 120-day period.
Here’s the actual text of the executive order, which I encourage everyone to read before heading to the comments section or your friendly neighborhood Facebook/Reddit/Twitter account.
For those who would rather read a summary, I’ll do my best, but I strongly encourage you to do your own research as well since I will only hit the high points:
- The new order imposes a 90-day halt on the issuance of visas to citizens of six countries: Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya. Iraq is excluded from the new order since the Iraqi government has “expressly undertaken steps to enhance travel documentation, information sharing, and the return of Iraqi nationals subject to orders of removal”
- Holders of existing visas will not be affected
- A cap on new refugees, limiting the number accepted to 50,000 per year (down from the previous administration, although President Obama also had a 50,000 refugee cap during his administration)
- The order goes into effect March 16, 10 days from now
The Washington Post quotes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “This executive order responsibly provides a needed pause so we can carefully review how we scrutinize people coming here from these countries of concern.”
President Trump signed the order out of the public eye, a bit of a departure from his previous executive orders.
As with all things, I think it’s important to understand travel news like this without really getting into personal political opinions. On balance I think this executive order is more targeted and specific compared to the first one Trump signed and it also gives authorities and travelers 10 days to prepare.
(I’m going to keep a close eye on the comments for this post, please be respectful regardless of your personal opinions)