U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement on Monday in support of the latest Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump ordering a four-month suspension on entry from six nations — an order deliberately mislabeled by numerous liberal media as an anti-Muslim “travel ban.”
Iraq has been deleted from the original list of seven Muslim-majority countries whose citizens were temporarily banned for a three-month period from entering the United States in a prior executive order that was deemed illegal by a federal court. Syrian refugees were indefinitely prohibited from entry, until a competent vetting system could be implemented.
“The executive order signed by the President earlier today, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, is a vital measure for strengthening our national security,” said Tillerson in his statement. “It is the President’s solemn duty to protect the American people. And with this order, President Trump is exercising his rightful authority to keep our people safe.
“As threats to our security continue to evolve and change, common sense dictates that we continually re-evaluate and re-assess the systems we rely upon to protect our country. While no system can be made completely infallible, the American people can have high confidence we are identifying ways to improve the vetting process and thus keep terrorists from entering our country.
“To our allies and partners around the world: Please understand this order is part of our ongoing efforts to eliminate vulnerabilities that radical Islamist terrorists can and will exploit for destructive ends… And the State Department will implement the provisions in this order that allow for the admissions of refugees when it is determined they do not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.”
Iraq was dropped from the list of nations on the list of those whose citizens are temporarily banned from entering the country. The Secretary of State explained why Iraq is no longer considered a threat:
“Upon the President’s initial executive order issued on January the 27th, the State Department’s Consular Affairs and Diplomatic Security offices immediately undertook a review, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, to identify additional measures that would strengthen our vetting of those seeking entry to the United States from seven named countries. These early efforts were concentrated on Iraq. 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.
“This intense review over the past month identified multiple security measures that the State Department and the Government of Iraq will be implementing to achieve our shared objective of preventing those with criminal or terroristic intent from reaching the United States.
“I want to express my appreciation to Prime Minister al-Abadi of Iraq for his positive engagement and support for implementing these actions,” Tillerson added. “The United States welcomes this kind of close cooperation with countries in every region of the world who share our commitment to national security. This revised order will bolster the security of the United States and her allies. ”