Trump weighs replacement to travel ban
U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday was considering a replacement to his executive order temporarily barring travel to the United States from several majority-Muslim countries, Reuters reported.
The current ban, enacted in March and set to expire on Sunday evening, extended to travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The new order could fall short of a complete ban, instead tailoring travel restrictions on a country-by-country basis.
Trump received a set of policy recommendations on Friday from acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and was briefed on the matter by other administration officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a White House aide said.
Trump offered little insight on Sunday about what might come next, telling reporters only: “The travel ban: The tougher, the better.”
As of Friday, the president had not made a final decision as to the contents of the new order and which nations would be affected, leaving open the possibility the list could be expanded.
The expiring ban blocked entry into the United States by people from the six countries for 90 days and locked out most aspiring refugees for 120 days to give Trump’s administration time to conduct a worldwide review of U.S. vetting procedures for foreign visitors.
Critics have accused the Republican president of discriminating against Muslims in violation of constitutional guarantees of religious liberty and equal protection under the law, breaking existing U.S. immigration law and stoking religious hatred.
Some federal courts blocked the ban, but the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it to take effect in June with some restrictions.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Oct. 10 on whether the current ban discriminates against Muslims in violation of the U.S. Constitution, as lower courts previously ruled.