The first time President Donald Trump signed his executive order restricting immigration to the US, he was surrounded by advisers and photographers at the Pentagon. But today Trump signed a revised version of the travel ban behind closed doors and without fanfare.
Instead of holding a public signing ceremony, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly held a short press conference to announce the new ban. They did not take any questions from journalists during or after the announcement.
The new order is a more limited version of the January 27 travel ban, which ignited protests across the country, caused chaos at airports, and was ultimately blocked by federal courts. The new ban temporarily restricts immigration from six, rather than seven, Muslim-majority countries, allows those with current visas and green cards to enter the US, and subjects Syrian refugees to the same 120-day ban as all other refugees.
As of early Monday afternoon, the president himself had not made any public statement concerning the revised order. The administration did not provide any explanation as to why Trump signed the order in private.
The revision of the order is seen by many as a concession by the administration and is reportedly intended to address legal concerns with the original travel ban.
Administration officials pre-empted critiques of the order’s legality at Monday’s press conference.
“The Department of Justice believes that this executive order just as the first executive order is a lawful and proper exercise of presidential authority,” Sessions said.
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