Donald Trump is poised to sign a new executive order banning travel from certain Muslim-majority countries, according to a senior White House source.
Independent news reports that, the new order, replacing an earlier version that was blocked by federal judges, will exclude Iraq from the blacklisted countries, but continues to block entry to the US for citizens of Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya and Yemen.
It will also clarify the status of people from these countries who have already received US green cards, specifying that they are not affected. Tens of thousands of legal permanent residents were left in limbo by Mr Trump’s previous order.
The official told Reuters the new order will maintain the 90-day duration of the original ban.
The first travel ban, which included Iraq, was widely condemned in part because it appeared to target thousands of Iraqis who risked their lives working as translators alongside US troops after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
But many contentious elements of the ban – not least the fact that it still appears to discriminate against Muslims – will remain in force.
More than two dozen lawsuits were filed in US courts against the original travel ban, and the state of Washington succeeded in having it suspended by the 9th Circuit court of Appeals by arguing that it violated constitutional protections against religious discrimination.
Iraq expressed “deep relief” at the decision to remove Iraq from the list of countries targeted in the US ban.