Though reports had previously suggested the executive order would come today, President Trump is now expected to sign the order on Thursday banning Syrian refugees from the United States, and forbidding citizens of seven countries from even obtaining a visa to visit the United States.
The order would ban all visitors from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya, arguing that people from those countries are liable to “bear hostile attitudes” toward the United States given how much the US has bombed and otherwise hassled them in recent years.
The refugee ban is limited to Syria, in the long run, though it also imposes as 120 day ban on all refugees from anywhere, and substantially lowers the cap on the number of refugees allowed into the US in 2017, down to 50,000. Religious minorities are to be given preference in that lower figure, which is believed to be leaning toward Christians from Muslim-majority countries.
One unnamed refugee resettlement organization was already officially briefed on the planned changes. The final version of the order is expected to include a long list of new acts that would disqualify refugees from being allowed into the US, though exact details on this are unclear.
President Trump had suggested during the campaign that he intended a full ban on Muslims entering the United States, and while this move falls well short of that, it is certain to be seen as a move in that direction, and likely to face considerable criticism.