New Order May Lift Indefinite Ban On Syrian Refugees

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The new executive order expected to be issued by President Donald Trump on immigration may lift the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees contained in his original travel ban.

Trump's executive order issued a week into his presidency banned travel from seven majority-Muslim countries but was met with strong protest, Politico reported.

The new order is also not expected to affect green card holders. People with dual nationality could still be allowed to enter the country.

"Nothing you've been told is final," a White House spokesperson told Politico.

During the election campaign, Trump initially spoke out in favor of a total ban on Muslims entering the United States. However, he later modified this position to "extreme vetting" of Muslim immigrants, Politico reported.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly confirmed changes are being made.

"The President is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first executive order," Kelly said, according to CNN.

Trump's original order has been rejected by a number of judges in federal court.

Kelly noted that the new order would seek to give more notice of the restrictions being imposed, to "make sure that there's no one, in a sense, caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports, which happened on the first release."

CNN reported divisions between the Department of Justice, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security on the question of whether non-immigrant visas should be revoked.

"This debate is critical both legally and policy-wise," Leon Fresco, who was an official in former President Barack Obama's administration, told CNN. "Obviously, it is important not to run afoul of existing court orders precluding [cancelation] of visas. But even more importantly, it sends a disconcerting signal to all potential foreign visitors when the US cancels visas for entire groups on short notice rather than canceling visas due to the actions of individual visa holders."

The changes are not likely to satisfy many opponents of the travel ban.

"As long as there continues to be a ban, we will pursue our lawsuits," Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union told Politico. "The discrimination that spurred the ban doesn't simply disappear by the removal of a few words."

Sources: Politico, CNN / Photo credit: Mustafa Khayat/Flickr

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