Trump to leave Iraq off new travel ban order: White House source


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US President Donald Trump will remove Iraq from a list of countries targeted in a U.S. travel ban when he signs a new executive order expected on Monday after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts, a White House source said.

The senior White House official said the new executive order would keep a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of six Muslim-majority nations – Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Iraq was taken off the list in the original order, issued on Jan. 27, because the Iraqi government had imposed new vetting procedures, such as heightened visa screening and data sharing, and because of its work with the United States in countering Islamic State militants, the White House official said.

While the first order imposed restrictions immediately, the new directive will have an implementation delay to limit the disruptions that created havoc for some travelers, the White House official said.

The new order will take effect on March 16, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday. Thousands of Iraqis have fought alongside U.S. troops for years or worked as translators since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Many have resettled in the United States after being threatened for working with U.S. troops. The White House official said the new executive order, which the Republican president was expected to sign on Monday, also ensures that tens of thousands of legal permanent residents in the United States – or green card holders – from the listed countries would not be affected by the travel ban.

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