By AP US President Donald Trump signed an executive action restricting travel to the US from seven countries on Friday, signing the travel ban into law the same day as his first overseas trip as president.
Trump’s order targets seven Muslim countries, including Iran, North Korea and Syria, as well as the countries that house the largest number of Syrian refugees.
“The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we are committed to welcoming all Americans into our communities, our country, our nation,” the president said in a statement announcing the order.
“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian partners will continue to monitor and share information with us.
As the president’s order directs, the Secretary of State will continue his outreach efforts to make sure the countries in question adhere to our values.”
The order bars people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days, and for 120 days, for refugees from Syria and all other countries.
It suspends the refugee resettlement program for 120 months.
“America will not tolerate the entry of any individuals or entities that support extremism and violence,” the order reads.
“Those seeking entry to the United States should demonstrate that they will not harm Americans or pose a security risk.”
A group of Muslim-Americans gathered outside the US embassy in Cairo to protest Trump’s order, calling it “unconstitutional” and calling on the US to suspend the resettlement program and “ensure that all people are protected”.
The group also called on the White House to revoke the ban on Syrian refugees, and to allow Syrian refugees to enter the US permanently.
“We are not here to celebrate, but to call out this order, to call it unconstitutional,” said Ibrahim Kheli, a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an activist group.
“It is a violation of our civil rights and it is an attack on all Americans,” he said.
“We call on the president to rescind this and immediately reverse it.”CAIR, along with the Council of American-Islamists, was among a coalition of groups that challenged Trump’s first travel ban at the US Supreme Court.
They said it discriminated against Muslims and that it was illegal under the constitution to ban them from the country.
Trump has faced backlash from other critics of his travel ban, including Democrats and some Republicans, who have accused the president of using his executive powers to circumvent the courts.
The court is set to hear arguments on the travel order on Monday.
“When it comes to President Trump’s travel ban and his unconstitutional, discriminatory and discriminatory immigration policies, the American people will have to decide for themselves,” said the US Chamber of Commerce in a tweet on Friday.
The US has seen a surge in attacks by Islamic State and other militant groups in recent months.