President Donald Trump Monday signed a new executive order placing a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Iraq was removed. The other change from the first version of the order is that people with valid visas may enter the US. The measure which includes a 120-day ban on all refugees, takes effect on March 16, to avoid the travel disruptions of the earlier order. The new directive also lifts a blanket ban on all Syrian refugees.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the order is meant to "eliminate vulnerabilities that radical Islamic terrorists can and will exploit for destructive ends".
According to the FBI, more than 300 people who entered the US as refugees are under investigation for potential terrorism-related offences, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.
Although the new order states refugees already approved by the State Department will be allowed to enter, it also limits their number to 50,000 for the year.