Trump signs new immigration executive order, excluding Iraq from list of banned countries

Political Cartoon.
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President Trump signed a new version of his immigration executive order Monday, following a federal court's block last month of the original order he issued Jan. 27. The new order excludes Iraq — an ally in the fight against the Islamic State — from the list of Muslim-majority countries that Trump wants to restrict travel and immigration from, reportedly at the urging of the State and Defense departments.

"If you have travel docs, if you actually have a visa, if you are a legal permanent resident, you are not covered under this particular executive action," White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said earlier Monday. The Trump administration has argued that the temporary ban is necessary to protect Americans, though experts have refuted the president's claims that the targeted countries — Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen — pose valid terrorism threats to the United States.

Critics of Trump's travel ban have noted that no individual from any of the targeted countries has committed a terrorist attack on American soil, while stories of the ban's more individual effects — including the potential deportation of veterans and beloved community pillars — have proliferated in recent weeks. "The timing of the ban is intended to reset the White House political narrative after a tumultuous week," The New York Times wrote Monday.

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The Week's Paul Waldman argues Trump's new order is likely to backfire horribly. "It's not liberal immigration laws that produce terrorism," Waldman wrote, "it's the difficulty in assimilating ... And assimilation has always been what America has done well." The new executive order will take effect March 16.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.