Revised Trump executive order may ditch indefinite ban on Syrian refugees

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The Trump administration is considering dropping an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees in a revised executive order on immigration that the president is expected to release this week, according to a source briefed on drafts of the plans.
The revised order, however, would keep in place provisions that temporarily ban the admission of all refugees, including Syrians. It also will temporarily halt the future issuance of visas to people from the same seven predominantly Muslim countries targeted by the legally contentious order it is designed to replace.
Critics fear those temporary bans will effectively turn indefinite. That’s because some, possibly all, of the countries targeted — as well programs for Syrian and other refugees — may not be able to meet the vetting standards that President Donald Trump decides to set to lift the temporary bans. The seven countries are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya.
The source stressed that what had been described to him was still draft information and could change. A White House spokesman declined to confirm any details, saying, “Nothing you’ve been told is final.”
The ACLU and other groups say that, regardless of the revisions, they will likely pursue ongoing lawsuits in courts that have already prevented the administration from enforcing the first order. Critics have widely derided that order as a “Muslim ban,” but the president has insisted his actions are needed to keep the United States safe from terrorists.
“As long as there continues to be a ban, we will pursue our lawsuits,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “The discrimination that spurred the ban doesn’t simply disappear by the removal of a few words.”
It was not clear if the revised executive order would drop language in the original that stated religious minorities should get preference in the admissions process. Legally speaking, however, dropping that language could aid the administration as it tries to defend the order in the courts.

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