Donald Trump's new travel ban 'delayed until next week'

New plans only have 'minor technical differences' to original executive order blocked by the courts

Katie Forster
Thursday 23 February 2017 00:20 GMT
Donald Trump hosts a 'strategic initiatives' lunch at the White House in Washington
Donald Trump hosts a 'strategic initiatives' lunch at the White House in Washington (Reuters)

Donald Trump's new travel ban has been delayed until next week, a White House official has said.

The new executive order, replacing the directive suspending access to the US to citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries, was expected this week but will now be issued "sometime next week", said the official.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has called the revised order a "more streamlined version" of the original travel ban, which sparked mass protests.

The first ban, signed on 27 January, temporarily restricted entry to the US for citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya – and indefinitely to Syrian refugees.

It caused widespread confusion at airports in the US and elsewhere, but was blocked after three federal judges ruled that it was not legitimate.

Instead of fighting for the order to be reinstated, the President is submitting a new one with only "minor technical differences", said senior White House adviser Stephen Miller.

Mr Miller told Fox News the revised travel ban would "have the same basic policy outcome" as the first, but would be "responsive to the judicial ruling" that halted it.

The Court of Appeal suggested the order be redrafted so it did not risk violating the US constitution, which forbids discrimination on the grounds of religion.

The new executive order is reportedly expected to make clear that green card holders – immigrants with an indefinite right to live in the US – are exempt from the ban.

“The President is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first executive order,” Mr Kelly said at the Munich Security Conference at the weekend.

He added that officials are working on a “phase in” period to help avoid confusion at airports seen after Mr Trump's first immigration directive.

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