A US official said Saturday an order temporarily barring travelers from some Muslim-majority countries does not include countries such as Tunisia, Oman, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey, Reuters reported.
The new Republican president on Friday put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily barred travellers from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries. He said the moves would protect Americans from terrorism, in a swift and stern delivery on a campaign promise.
The ban affects travelers with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and extends to green card holders who are legal permanent residents of the United States.
It extends to green card holders who are authorized to live and work in the United States, Homeland Security spokeswoman Gillian Christensen was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The order plunged America’s immigration system into chaos on Saturday, not only for refugees but for legal U.S. residents who were turned away at airports and feared being stranded outside the country.
At the State Department, a senior official said lawyers were working closely with their counterparts at Homeland Security to interpret the executive order, which allows entry to people affected by the order when it is in the “national interest.”
However, a federal law enforcement official said, “It’s unclear at this point what the threshold of national interest is.”
Senior administration officials said it would have been “reckless” to broadcast details of the order in advance of new security measures, according to Reuters.
TAP via Reuters