President Donald Trump's revised immigration ban faced the first of several challenges in court Wednesday, one day before it was due to take effect.

Here are key points of the overhauled executive order.

What's in it?

Iraq, which was targeted by the original Jan 27 travel ban, is excluded this time. Six other countries remain: Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, and Iran. The US says that none of the six can supply adequate identity and security information on their citizens to satisfy US needs to safely vet visa applicants.

People with pre-existing, valid visas from the six countries are explicitly exempted from the restrictions in the new order, as are permanent US residents ─ so-called green card holders. The original ban had extended to people with valid visas and even those with permanent residency, causing havoc at airport arrival halls and sparking a large number of legal challenges.

Why a revised order?

A Washington state judge halted implementation of the original order on Feb 3, accepting legal challenges that said it violated the constitutional rights of immigrants and their families by specifically targeting Muslims. The judge was supported by an appeals court, forcing the Trump administration to redraft the order.

How long does the new order last?

Ninety days from its implementation date for the six countries on the list. The aim is to give them time to improve their databases and screening systems to boost US confidence in the visa issuance process. But officials said there is no guarantee that the ban will be lifted after 90 days. It depends on how well the countries comply with US requirements.

What about refugees?

Trump's new order places a 120-day ban on refugee arrivals from any country. Officials say they need to strengthen vetting procedures for refugees to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country. They said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating 300 refugees already inside the United States for suspected terror links or sympathies.

In the first order, refugees from war-torn Syria were banned indefinitely. But now they have the same status as other refugees.

At the same time, the order ─ like its predecessor ─ cuts the number of refugees the government will admit this year to 50,000, down from 110,000 originally envisaged.

Is this a ban on Muslim arrivals?

The US government rejects the notion, pointing out that visa issuance and arrivals remain unchanged from Muslim-majority countries like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan, as well as those in North Africa.

But critics continue to point to Trump and other administration official statements made during and after last year's presidential campaign to argue that the intention has always been to screen out Muslim arrivals.

"The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible. Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws," said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrant Rights Project.

Opinion

State Bank’s bluff
28 Jan 2021

State Bank’s bluff

The debt auction held on Wednesday was the first real test of the story the State Bank tried to put out in its monetary policy
Unburied conscience
28 Jan 2021

Unburied conscience

It took years for the POWs or CUPCs to talk about their experiences.
A jab in time
27 Jan 2021

A jab in time

Vaccines are evidently not an instant panacea.

Editorial

28 Jan 2021

Streamlining madressahs

SUCCESSIVE governments over the decades have grappled with the challenge of regulating the tens of thousands of...
28 Jan 2021

Farmers’ protest

CONVINCED of his invincibility and riding an unchallenged authoritarian streak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may ...
28 Jan 2021

A broader investigation

THE Broadsheet controversy may be poised to open up a Pandora’s Box. Reportedly, the government is planning to...
Updated 27 Jan 2021

Pemra’s powers

The right to freedom of expression has been curtailed to such an extent that it invites comparisons with martial law times.
27 Jan 2021

Increasing debt

THE numbers released by the State Bank regarding the government’s domestic debt stock and servicing at the end of...
27 Jan 2021

Women in conflict

“WHEN the guns fall silent, it does not mean the suffering of women and girls stops. The suffering and abuse that...