Local refugee services react to new travel ban


    President Donald Trump's revised travel ban was unveiled Monday. (Image credit: MGN Online)

    President Donald Trump's revised travel ban was unveiled Monday. The order leaves Iraq off the list of banned countries, but still impacts travelers from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.

    The first travel ban resulted in confusion at airports across the country as the Department of Homeland Security worked to figure out how it was intended to be enforced. The order was put on hold by a federal judge in Washington which was eventually upheld by a federal appeals court.

    The new order calls for a 90-day ban for six Muslim majority countries and doesn't apply to those who already have valid visas or people with U.S. green cards. Iraq was removed from the list because of increased cooperation with the vetting process of its citizens applying for visas and its key role in fighting ISIS.

    The entire U.S. refugee program is suspended for 120 days through the new order. Once the suspension is lifted the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. will be capped at 50,000 for the fiscal year 2017.

    Bee Moorehead of Texas Impact said during the Obama Administration, 110,000 refugees were admitted into the country, and already this year about 30,000 refugees have sought sanctuary in the U.S., leaving only room for 20,000 more under the new cap.

    "The United States is shutting its door to more than half of the people who've been expected to be here," said Moorehead.

    Language granting priority to religious minorities was removed in the new order but Moorehead says vetting questions could be aimed otherwise.

    Refugee services of Texas released a statement today saying "the continuous anti-refugee message by the Trump administration conveys an ongoing theme of persecution of vulnerable people."

    The International Office at the University of Texas said they're studying the new executive order and they'll be reaching out to students affected.

    The new ban would go into effect March 16, 2017.

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