US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Monday that President Donald Trump’s renewed ban on travellers from six Muslim-majority countries is “a vital measure for strengthening our national security.”
“With this order, President Trump is exercising his rightful authority to keep our people safe,” Tillerson said, after Trump signed a revised version of an order that had previously been thrown out by US courts.
The original order triggered chaos and protests at US airports as travellers with previously issued visas were turned away — including Iraqis who had worked alongside the US military in combat.
The new version of the plan retains a 120-day freeze on all refugee arrivals and temporarily halts the granting of new visas for Syrians, Iranians, Libyans, Somalis, Yemenis and Sudanese citizens.
Tillerson said his department had worked with Iraq to identify “multiple new security measures” that would be imposed to ensure that extremists are weeded out during the US visa process.
“Iraq is an important ally in the fight to defeat ISIS, with their brave soldiers fighting in close coordination with America’s men and women in uniform,” Tillerson said.
Tillerson was appearing alongside Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security chief John Kelly. None of them took questions from the news media after their brief statements.
© Agence France-Presse