Executive Order Prohibits Travelers from 7 Countries to Enter U.S.

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MCALLEN – President Donald Trump has stated the recent executive order is not a Muslim ban; it’s an order that blocks people, except U.S. citizens, to enter the U.S. from seven countries.

The order is titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” For the next 90 days, nearly all travelers, except U.S. citizens, traveling on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen will be temporarily suspended from entering the country.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the 90-day period will slow for proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals.

DHS says “these seven countries were designated by Congress and the Obama Administration as posing a significant enough security risk to warrant additional scrutiny in the Visa waiver context.”

A day after the executive order was signed, a federal judge out of New York filed an emergency motion which blocked part of the executive order but not all of it.

The motion prevented the deportation of some people from those seven countries who were held at U.S. airports over the weekend.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with a professor at UTRGV on what the order means for people in the Valley.

“If you are a student from any of these countries, like if you’re a student from Iraq or a permanent resident, you cannot go back to Iran or your country and expect to come back in within that period. So it kind of locks them in here,” UTRGV Department of History associate professor Tamer Balci said.

The travel restrictions are expected to be lifted by the end of April.

The executive order also states the Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days to review the system. It also adds that refugees from Syria will be suspended indefinitely to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest. 

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