Trump expected to sign new travel ban

Administration officials have said that while the new order aims to overcome legal challenges – its goal will remain the same

Trump expected to sign new travel ban

US President Donald Trump salutes as he disembarks Marine One upon arrival at the White House in Washington, 05-03-2017. Image: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

US President Donald Trump is expected to sign a revised travel ban executive order later today.

The previous order included a temporary ban on all refugees from seven mainly Muslim countries - sparking worldwide protests and two judicial setbacks.

The countries affected by the ban were Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The order was suspended by federal judge James Robart in Seattle – a decision that was later backed by the US Appeals Court.

The court said the US Justice Department had not offered "any evidence" of national security concerns which justified banning migrants, visitors and refugees from the seven countries.

President Trump branded Mr Robart's original ruling as "ridiculous" - and described him as a "so-called judge."

It is believed that today's renewed order will remove Iraq from the banned list – and Victoria Jones, Chief White House Correspondent with Talk Media News told Newstalk Breakfast that other changes may also have to be made:

“They may have changed the language somewhat to open it up to other minorities so that all religious minorities are more focused on,” she said.

The removal of Iraq from the list reportedly follows pressure from the Pentagon and State Department after both agencies urged the White House to reconsider - given the country's key role in fighting ISIS.

A White House official told the Associated Press that plans to roll out the new order – which has been in the works since the original attempt was deemed illegal – remain on track for today.

Trump administration officials have said that while the new order aims to overcome the legal challenges – its goal will remain the same.

The stated goal is to keep potential terrorists out of the US while the government reviews the vetting system for refugees and visa applicants from certain parts of the world.

The renewed order is expected to make it clear that all existing visas will be honoured – and will no longer single out Syrian refugees for an indefinite ban.

It is also expected to remove language deemed to give priority to religious minorities – which critics had warned would help Christians gain access to the US while excluding Muslims.