Donald Trump: US President mulls new order to replace travel ban, no decision on details yet

Donald Trump: US President mulls new order to replace travel ban, no decision on details yet

Donald Trump: US President mulls new order to replace travel ban, no decision on details yet

Updated 23 September 2017, 9:25 AEST

President Donald Trump is considering a new order that may be even tougher than his soon-to-expire travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries, US officials say.

President Donald Trump is considering a new order to replace his soon-to-expire travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries, US officials said.

The ban would be tailored on a country-by-country basis to protect the US from attacks.

With the current ban on people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen due to expire on Sunday, Mr Trump was given recommendations by Elaine Duke, the acting Homeland Security Secretary, but has not yet made a decision on the details of the new order, the officials said.

They declined to say which or how many countries would be targeted.

White House spokesman Raj Shah told reporters that while "we can't get into decision-making", the next step would be a presidential proclamation setting out the new policy. He declined to say when that would come.

Mr Trump's six-nation travel ban was laid out in a March 6 executive order that was blocked by federal courts before being allowed to go into effect with some limits by the US Supreme Court in June.

The expiring ban blocked entry into the US by people from the six countries and locked out most aspiring refugees for 120 days to give Trump administration time to conduct a worldwide review of US vetting procedures for foreign visitors. The existing refugee ban expires on October 24.

"We need to know who is coming into our country," Miles Taylor, counsellor to the secretary of homeland security, said.

"We should be able to validate their identities and we should be able to confirm that our foreign partners do not have information suggesting such individuals may represent a threat to the United States.

"That is a fundamental obligation of the US Government, and it's something that drove this process from start to finish."

Under the recommendations Mr Trump is weighing, there would be restrictions on US entry that differ by nation, based on cooperation with American security mandates, the threat the US believes each country presents and other variables, the officials said.

Trump calls for larger, tougher ban

Mr Trump, who promised as a candidate to impose "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," said the soon-to-expire ban was needed to protect the US from terrorism.

The legal question of whether that ban discriminates against Muslims in violation of the US Constitution, as lower courts previously ruled, will be argued before the Supreme Court on October 10.

On September 15, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter: "The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific but stupidly that would not be politically correct!"

The March travel ban and an earlier January one that targeted the same six countries as well as Iraq are some of the most controversial actions taken by Mr Trump since assuming office in January.

Critics have called the policy an unlawful "Muslim ban", accusing him of discriminating against Muslims in violation of constitutional guarantees of religious liberty and equal protection under the law, breaking existing US immigration law, and stoking religious hatred.

Mr Trump has defended the travel ban and has promised that "radical Islamic terrorism" would be "eradicated".

Reuters