President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday that revoked and replaced Executive Order 13769, which restricted travel from seven predominantly-Muslim countries.
The order faced legal challenges that were upheld by a federal district court and going through the appeals process.
The Jan. 27 order sparked protest around the country and at Cal State Fullerton. University President Mildred Garcia said the order comes into “direct conflict with our deepest values” in a Jan. 29 statement.
Iraq was removed from the list of countries subject to travel suspension during a 90-day review period.
The March 6 order was created to avoid further litigation after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals moved to halt judicial proceedings on the matter Feb. 7. It states it intends to improve national security.
The new executive order addresses not only concerns with the original order’s content, but the “chaos” that came after its passage, said assistant political science professor Robert Robinson, Ph.D.
“It is not uncommon for a politically controversial executive order to be challenged in the courts and struck down, and then for someone to either let it go or to try to restructure it so that it meets court approval,” Robinson said.
Robinson said that restructuring was likely needed because Trump is an “outsider politician” and has less expertise in the subject matter.
Like executive order 13769, the new order establishes a 50,000-refugee cap for the 2017 fiscal year.
“The new executive order does make clear a number of categories of people who won’t be affected,” Robinson said. “Dual citizens, people who have already been granted refugee status, people with green cards … My sense is by doing that they’re hoping to avoid a chaotic rollout.”
Nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are affected by the “temporary” ban. Those countries present “heightened threats” due to the presence of terrorist organizations and the foreign government’s “willingness or ability” to share information regarding travel to the United States, according to the order. It also says it is difficult to return foreign nationals from these countries because of delays or documentation.
Despite having active combat zones and being influenced by ISIS, the order says Iraq has been removed from the list because of the relationship between the United States and the democratically-elected Iraqi government, the country’s commitment to fighting ISIS and the steps already taken since executive order 13769 was issued.
“If you think that list of countries is not appropriate, you could get rid of the ban or you could add more, or exchange them out in some way,” Robinson said.
The new order outlines exceptions to the ban and the case-by-case issuance of visa waivers during the suspension period. The suspension will only apply to foreign nationals of the designated countries who are outside of the United States on March 16, did not have a valid visa on Jan. 27 and do not have a valid visa on March 16.
Nationals of Iraq applying for a visa, admission or other immigration benefits will also be subject to thorough review and possible consultation about ISIS and terrorism ties with a designee of the secretary of defense.
“I think the intent is still basically the same. On paper, it’s still primarily about security,” Robinson said. “I think there are probably other motivations but because the White House is so divided on many issues, it’s not clear which part of the White House wants what.”
The 90-day ban implemented in the first order will start again March 16. Robinson said this number is also subject to extension and said he questions how the vetting process could be fixed in only 90 days.
“I think if you objected to the initial travel ban, you’re still going to object to this one,” Robinson said. “I imagine that someone will challenge it in court, and I’m not sure what will happen but if I were to bet my own money, I would say that some judge somewhere is going to strike it down again.”
When asked for a comment in regard to the order, CSUF Chief Communications Officer Jeffrey Cook said there is no new statement but pointed to Garcia’s January letter and a statement from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), which CSUF is a part of.
“Our nation’s universities thrive in part due to their ability to connect throughout the world,” the APLU statement said. “This new executive order undermines that ability.”
Hayley M. Slye contributed to this report.