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Trump prepares to issue new travel ban

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Following pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, President Trump's next executive order on immigration will take Iraq off the list of countries whose citizens are temporarily barred from entering the United States, several USA officials told The Associated Press.

Four officials said to the news agency that the decision followed pressure from the Pentagon and State Department.

Many civil rights lawyers and activists have said they don't believe a new order would cure all the constitutional problems of the original, including the claim that it was motivated by anti-Muslim discrimination.

The officials also said the order will exclude explicit exemption for religious minorities in the countries targeted by the travel ban.

Trump said a temporary ban is necessary to give his administration time to develop "extreme vetting" procedures for people coming from those terror-prone countries. The Justice Department has since asked the courts to hold off on further litigation while a new executive order was crafted, although the Court of Appeals told the parties to press ahead with the case.

One of the options for the White House is to issue an order that allows all people from those countries who are already lawful permanent residents of the US or hold valid visas to continue traveling without interruption. The State Department said that as a result of the order, it had revoked visas from almost 60,000 people. The paper also wrote that learning from the previous experience, the White House administration could implement the order at a date later than the signing date.

Opponents of the travel ban say it discriminates against citizens of certain countries and the Muslim religion.

The new ban was originally scheduled to be released last week.

Now, Iraq is precisely the nation taken off the list, according to a forthcoming modification to the policy set by the executive order.

After Trump signed the original order, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he would consider reciprocal measures. "They are protecting us here and we're fighting this enemy that threatens all of our countries together". The Iraqi parliament even considered banning USA citizens to Iraq in response, potentially endangering the counter-ISIS effort. "So I would prefer personally not to see anything that would reflect on that except that we have a very strong partnership". An earlier order was blocked by federal courts.