The New Travel Ban Has A Time Limit On It

by Ann-Derrick Gaillot
Zach Gibson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has signed his revised executive order on immigration, and it is set to go into effect on March 16. The new order has notable differences from its predecessor, including the removal of Iraq from the list of restricted countries and halting the indefinite block of Syrian refugees. However, other controversial provisions are included, such as a temporary ban of refugees, a decrease in the number of refugees to be admitted this fiscal year, and a 90-day ban of the issue of visas to nationals of six majority-Muslim countries. But how long will the new travel ban last? The wait will be longer for refugees.

According to the text of the revised order, nationals of six countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—are banned from traveling into the U.S. for 90 days, or until June 14. This so that the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State and the Director of National Intelligence—or Gen. John F. Kelly, Rex Tillerson, and, if he's confirmed, Sen. Dan Coats—can review vetting procedures for people from those nations.

Refugees' entry, though, will take a month longer. The executive order imposes a 120-day suspension of the United States Refugee Admissions Program, or USRAP. That means no decisions on applications for refugee status can be made before July 14.

But as the Center for American Progress points out, a four-month pause on application decisions will cause many applicants' various security clearances to expire. As a result, some of the people most desperate to enter the country will be turned away even after obtaining the security clearances they were told were required.

However, immigration rights activists and advocates are already moving to take action against the executive order's travel and refugee restrictions. ACLU National took to its Twitter to call out the new order as "still unconstitutional," pledging to "confront this revised order in our ongoing litigation against the ban." And members of Congress also expressed their opposition, including Sens. Chuck Schumer and Ed Markey who used the hashtag #MuslimBan2.

However, there is a chance that this order's effects won't last that long if at all. Enforcement of Trump's previous travel ban executive order was halted by several court orders. This revised order's changes attempt to avoid any further halts, but challenges may still come. If courts again halt enforcement of this executive order it will not go into effect. And unlike last time, there is actually time for advocates to lodge their complaints before there is worldwide mayhem in airports. Still, they are in for a big fight.