The White House has delayed releasing a new executive order to replace an initial ban on travel to the US by citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries. Some expect the new order to be similar to the last.
A White House spokesman told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that the new order will be released next week, a week after it was expected to be rolled out.
"The only thing that matters is what the president signs. When we have something final to announce on that front we will let you know," White House spokesman Michael Short said.
The order is now expected to be issued "sometime next week," he said.
Trump's original order barred citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and refugees from Syria indefinitely.
It was blocked in the courts after causing chaos at airports around the world as visa holders going to the US were pulled off planes or turned around upon arrival at US airports.
Trump said the new directive would address legal concerns raised in Washington state, San Francisco and elsewhere about the original order, which was issued on January 27.
The new order is expected to address the concerns of the 9th Circuit federal appeals court, which blocked the original order on the basis that travelers' due process rights were not being respected by giving detailed notice of restrictions for those with current or pending visas.
"The President is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first executive order," Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said at the Munich Security Conference last week.
Kelly said officials are working on a "phase-in" period for parts of the order to take effect.
The Justice Department reportedly prefers to not revoke existing non-immigrant visas, while the White House and Department of Homeland Security are reportedly considering doing so.
Lawmakers to be involved?
Some lawmakers were also angered they were not consulted in the initial rollout of the order. CNN reported that, despite a pledge from the White House to consult legislators, sources said they remained out of the loop on the order.
The new travel ban could look a lot like the last one, a senior policy adviser for the Trump administration said on Tuesday.
"Fundamentally you're going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country," Stephen Miller told Fox News on Tuesday night, saying the new executive order would mirror the one halted by courts. "These are mostly minor technical differences," he added.
jbh/rc (Reuters, AP)