Old 'ban' in a new bottle
Protesters march in New York's Times Square in solidarity with American Muslims and against the travel ban ordered by US President Donald Trump. Pic/AFP
Washington: President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targets the same seven countries listed in his original executive order and exempts green card holders and those who already have a visa to travel to the US, even if they have not used it yet.
According to a senior White House official, the order will target only those same seven Muslim-majority nations – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya. The President came up with a second order after federal courts held up his immigration and refugee ban. The order could come sometime this week.
The official said green card holders and dual citizens of the US and any of those countries were exempted. The new draft also no longer directs authorities to single out — and reject — Syrian refugees when processing new visa applications.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the version being circulated was a draft and the final version should be released soon.
Trump's original order triggered chaos at airports across the US, as travellers were detained when the order rapidly went into effect, US permanent residents, known as green card holders, among them. Attorneys provided legal assistance to those held.
The order temporarily suspended for 90 days all travel to the US for citizens of those seven countries.
'Not here for your oil,' Mattis tells Iraq
The US military is not in Iraq "to seize anybody's oil", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said at the start of a visit to Iraq on Monday. Trump told CIA staff in January: "We should have kept the oil. But okay. Maybe you'll have another chance." Mattis, however, flatly ruled out any such intent. "We're not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil," he said.
Trump clarifies Sweden comment
US President Donald Trump has clarified his "what's happening last night in Sweden" comment during a rally in Florida. Trump in a tweet on Sunday said the statement "was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants and Sweden". The tweet confirmed suspicions that his remarks stemmed from Tucker Carlson's show on Friday night in which the host interviewed Ami Horowitz, a filmmaker who tried to tie Sweden's taking in of asylum seekers to increased crimes.