1. Trump Invokes 9/11. The executive order states that the visa-issuance process needs review because of failures leading up to 9/11, and further attacks afterward. It is true that there have been a bevy of high-profile terror attacks on American soil from refugees and others approved by the American visa system: the Boston Marathon bombing; the Ohio State terror attack; the St. Cloud, Minnesota machete attack; the New York/New Jersey bombing attacks in September 2016. Here’s a fuller listing. The executive order states, “The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.”
2. The Order Suspends Visas From “Nationals of Countries of Particular Origin.” The Secretary of Homeland Security, as well as the Secretary of State and Director of National Intelligence, are tasked under the order with determining the standard necessary for visa entry within 30 days. All entry into the United States is suspended, “as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order.” This isn’t unprecedented – Jimmy Carter issued a cancelation of visas for Iranian citizens in 1980.
3. More Countries May Be Coming. Under the executive order, the Secretary of State is told to request information from foreign governments in accordance with the report of the DHS and DNI. The DHS and Secretary of State are then told to come up with a list of additional countries that aren’t fulfilling their informational obligations.
4. The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security Can Waive The Executive Order For Individuals. Under Section 3(g), they can “on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”
5. Refugees Are Blocked For 120 Days. Syrian Refugees Are Banned Indefinitely. Under the order, the Secretary of State is told to suspend the US Refugee Admissions program for 120 days to “review the USRAP application and adjudication process.” Syrian refugees are labeled “detrimental to the interests of the United States” until the process is revamped.