Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq from list of banned countries: Report

US President Donald Trump reacts after delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress.
US President Donald Trump reacts after delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Donald Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a temporary US travel ban, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Tuesday (Feb 28), citing unnamed US officials.

Four officials say the decision follows pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, the AP reported.

They had urged the White House to reconsider Iraq's inclusion given its key role in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the report added.

Trump is expected to sign the new order on Wednesday. An earlier order was blocked by federal courts.

 

More than two dozen lawsuits were filed in US courts against the initial travel ban, which temporarily barred travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Trump has said travel limitations are necessary to protect the United States from attacks by Islamist militants.

But Americans were deeply divided over the measure, which had some support but was condemned by prominent US companies and allies.

The initial order caused chaos at airports, as people, including green card holders initially, were temporarily blocked from entering the United States.

Some of those people and several states challenged the order. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in the Washington case, said the ban likely violated the state’s due process rights and suspended it. 

The 9th Circuit also ruled that Washington had legal standing to challenge the ban, over objections from the Department of Justice.