Donald Trump resumes the Monday offensive on immigration and security, with the signing of a new decree banning the entry of six of the seven initially targeted Muslim countries into the United States, but exempting visa and visa holders. Green cards “.
Iraq is no longer among the countries whose nationals will no longer be able to set foot in the United States, and its government has already welcomed it. The decree will take effect on March 16 for 90 days, according to documents released Monday by the Department of Homeland Security.
The suspension of the reception of refugees is also recorded, for 120 days. But those whose journey to the United States was already scheduled will have the right to come.
The presidential action corresponds to the campaign promises of the Republican, who has committed to putting in place a policy of “extreme verification” at the borders in order to prevent jihadist infiltrations.
His first decree, signed a week after taking office, created a worldwide outcry, with Donald Trump being accused of discriminating against potentially unconstitutional Muslims.
The new version should allow to pass the obstacle of justice, which had suspended the application of the initial text on 3 February.
The six countries concerned are the three countries on the list of state departments of “terrorism-supportive” states (Iran, Syria, Sudan) as well as others identified under the previous administration as being at risk (Libya, Somalia , Yemen).
Iraq is exempt because its government would have agreed to provide additional information on its citizens requesting visas, according to Washington. Baghdad had loudly protested that he was being banished.
“We have received assurances from the Iraqi government that we will be able to do the necessary checks,” the senior US official said.
The precautionary implementation of this version 2.0 of the decree aims at avoiding the scenes of confusion seen at the airports US and foreign after the 27 of January.
“There will be no chaos in airports,” a senior security official told reporters. “The implementation period will be very serene”.
Holders of green cards or visas of any age – students, engineers or doctors – had been detained or even expelled. Families of refugees, airline tickets, had been prevented from boarding their flights to the United States. At least 60,000 visas had been revoked.
These revoked visas have already begun to be re-established and will be fully accepted, and all those who had visas on 27 January will continue to use them.
“If you have a valid visa, you will not have a problem,” assured a senior official of the State Department.
The binationals, for example the Franco-Iranians, will not be concerned if they travel on a French passport, but they have since last year applied for a visa.
Refugees under investigation
Syrian refugees will be treated like other refugees, while the suspension of their reception had to be indefinite in the initial version of the decree.
The new decision should relieve the hundreds of thousands of Iranians or Syrians who work and study in the United States.
But Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, said the government “is only trying to limit the horror scenes at airports, not to reduce intolerance in the US or improve security.”
“For us, it is not a victory that they discover the Constitution,” he told AFP, while questioning the future treatment of binationals, like the Franco-Iranians, who would apply for a visa.
For Washington, the new measures are necessary in the name of national security.
Authorities have revealed that about 300 refugees in the United States were the target of FBI terrorism investigations.
“This is not a measure against Muslims,” said the senior official. “This is a temporary suspension of the admission of nationals from six countries that are bankrupt states or support terrorism, and on which we can not do enough checks.”
The change of terrain is welcome for the White House, who spent the weekend defending the accusations of Donald Trump against Barack Obama. The president accused his predecessor of having ordered telephone tapping against the Trump Tower, without presenting any evidence.
The five-point decree
Which countries are affected?
The United States suspends for three months the entry of nationals of six Muslim-majority countries: Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The ban is intended to “allow for proper consideration and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration” of aliens, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Syria was in the first decree struck by a prohibition without time limit. It is now housed in the same category as other countries.
On the other hand, refugees from around the world fall under a suspension for four months of the program of admission to the United States. However, this decree does not apply to persons whose refugee status has already been accepted and whose arrival in the territory is already scheduled.
The United States will not accept more than 50,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017, the Department of Homeland Security said.
Why is Iraq no longer targeted?
Iraq was on the first list of seven designated countries on 27 January.
“The Iraqi government has explicitly taken steps to provide additional information about its citizens in order to assist in decisions concerning immigration,” the Department of Homeland Security wrote.
“Iraq has taken steps to strengthen its cooperation with the United States in the examination of Iraqi nationals and as such it was determined that a temporary suspension was not necessary,” said the department.
Why these six countries?
Rejecting the accusations of those who say the White House wanted to specifically target Muslims with this decree, the Trump administration says its decree “protects the United States from terrorism-compromised countries and ensures a more thorough review process.” rigorous”.
This decree is “a vital step” for the security of the United States, hammered Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Three of these countries belong to the list of state departments of states “supporting terrorism” (Iran, Syria, Sudan) and the other three had been identified under the previous administration of Barack Obama as presenting a risk (Libya, Somalia , Yemen).
To justify the decree, the government asserted that about 300 people who entered the United States under refugee status were currently being investigated in connection with counter-terrorism. However, he did not specify whether these individuals came from these six countries.
Who of the visa holders?
Travelers who hold a visa in good standing on the effective date of the Order in Council are not affected by these measures and may travel to the United States. “No visa will be revoked solely on the basis of this decree,” the authorities said. Visas that had been suspended because of the first decree had been reinstated in early February, following the blocking of its application by the American justice.
Green and bi-national cards
As a major cause of confusion following the adoption of the first decree, the status of permanent residents holding the famous “green card”, originating in one of the six countries is clarified: they are not affected by the decree.
On the other hand, bimonthly nationals from one of the countries covered are exempt from the ban on entry into the United States if they hold a passport issued by their other country of origin, Does not appear on the list.
Iraq welcomes withdrawal
BAGHDAD – Iraq on Monday warned of its withdrawal from the list of nationalities banned from entering the United States affected by the new version of the anti-immigrant decree of Donald Trump.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs expresses its great satisfaction after the decree issued by President Donald Trump that exempts Iraqis from the ban on traveling to the United States,” said a spokesman for the ministry Ahmed Jamal , For which it is an “important step” to strengthen relations between Baghdad and Washington.