WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s new travel ban order (all times local):

8:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump has signed a revised travel ban that temporarily halts entry to the U.S. for people from six Muslim-majority nations who are seeking new visas and suspends the country’s refugee program.

That’s according to White House spokesman Michael Short, who says the signing was done privately.

The new directive aims to address legal issues with the original order, which caused confusion at airports, sparked protests around the country and was ultimately blocked by federal courts.

The revised order is narrower and specifies that a 90-day ban on people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen does not apply to those who already have valid visas.

The White House also dropped Iraq from the list of banned countries.

8:01 a.m.

Iraq welcomed its removal from a revised U.S. travel ban on Monday, calling it a “positive message” at a time when American and Iraqi forces are battling the Islamic State group.

Iraq was among seven Muslim-majority countries whose nationals were temporarily banned from traveling to the United States in an earlier order issued by President Donald Trump in January, which was blocked by the courts.

The White House had said the earlier ban was needed to prevent terrorists from entering the country, but has now removed Iraq from the list under pressure from the State Department and the Defense Department, which had noted the close cooperation between the two countries in battling IS militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The revised order is narrower and specifies that a 90-day ban on people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen does not apply to those who already have valid visas.

Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said the revision to the travel ban shows that the two countries have a “real partnership.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal said it “reinforces the strategic alliance between Baghdad and Washington in many areas in the forefront in the fight against terrorism.”

The original order angered many Iraqis, and prompted parliament to call for a reciprocal ban on Americans entering Iraq. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declined to impose such a measure.

Thousands of American forces are in Iraqi providing air support and logistical help for a massive operation to drive IS militants from Mosul, the country’s second largest city. Smaller numbers of U.S. special operations forces are embedded with some Iraqi units.

Support from a U.S.-led coalition has been critical in the fight against IS, helping Iraqi forces to slowly roll back the militants over the past two and a half years. Iraqi forces are now in the midst of their toughest battle yet against IS as they push to retake Mosul’s west after the eastern half of the city was declared “full liberated” in January.

Iraqi troops on the front lines welcomed the revision to the travel ban while still expressing anger over the original order.

“To be honest, (the original ban) made me upset and that will not change,” said Sgt. Maj. Asad al-Asadi of Iraq’s special forces, who has been away from home battling the IS group for nearly three years. “I’ve lost three friends fighting terrorists and Trump calls me a terrorist.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

Comments (2)
  1. Good morning, thanks for the news. I noticed you included in the title: “..6 Muslim majority countries..”

    What is strange is that 6 countries sounds like a lot of ‘Muslim majority countries’ until you find that there are more than 56, by my count, Muslim majority countries in total (>50%) that exist today. Six doesn’t sound like very much at all anymore.

    I’ve re-titled this in my head. Still respecting that we want to include religion in the title, here is what I’ve crafted. “Trump signs new order banning immigrants from ~10% of Muslim majority countries.”

    This way the title is a little more accurate without losing it’s controversial appeal.

    I do it for fun..
    – Dr. RP

  2. A better idea: everyone who overstays their temporary visas, needs to be added to the FBI’s NCIC database as **a wanted person**, subject to I.C.E. removal.
    Overstaying is one of the most common ways for illegals to gain entry, other than jumping over the fence. NCIC is what law enforcement uses to check for warrants nationwide. This may not stop illegals from getting in, but it will encourage them to behave until they’re removed.

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