In his short time in office so far, President Donald Trump already has made some big waves — both among his support base and the opposition.
Supporters praise him for actually following through on campaign promises that helped him to be elected, while those who do not agree with his policies say he will be the ruin of the nation.
One of the decisions these two bases currently are at odds about is the so-called “Muslim ban” that was the subject of an executive order enacted by Trump on Jan. 27.
The order has been discussed widely and much of the information out there is contradictory, causing confusion among the public.
With that in mind, here is a breakdown of what is actually in the executive order and what is not.
Executive order parameters
The core of the executive order stops the issuing of all new immigrant and non-immigrant visas for 90 days from seven countries that are considered volatile. Those countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
It is important to note that these are not countries Trump selected randomly to target — there already are existing laws that focus on them.
All seven nations were added by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — under the Barack Obama administration — to the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 last February, according to a DHS release issued at the time.
After the first 30 days of the order, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will have to submit a report that outlines a complete revamp of the immigrant vetting process going forward.
After 60 days, countries will have to submit whatever information the current administration deems necessary. The hoped-for outcome is that this will help to ensure visa applications are vetted properly.
Countries that fail to supply the required information will be unable to send their nationals to the United States.
The “ban” can be extended or even expanded if the administration thinks it is necessary.
One of the more controversial parts of the order pertains to refugees.
The United States’ refugee resettlement program has been suspended and will remain that way for four months while an investigation of the program is conducted.
The administration also looks to develop a plan that will restructure the program to prioritize those in danger of facing religious persecution.
The program may be resumed after the initial 120 days, but it only will be open to countries that Kelly Tillerson decide don’t pose a threat to the safety of the U.S. Syrian refugees are completely suspended from the program until Trumps decides it can be reinstated.
The most important fact regarding this section of the order it that it does allows a case-by-case review, even during the time the order is in effect.
“Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest,” the order states.
That could include situations “when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.”
Another commonly overlooked fact is that Trump is not the first president or government official to limit immigration to a specific group of people.
Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all did so in the past, according to a Congressional Research Service report.
In fact, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s department temporarily suspended all Iraqi refugee applications for six months in 2011, a move that occurred without presidential action.