The executive order suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days.
“Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the secretary of state shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the secretary of state, the secretary of homeland security, and the director of national intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States,” it reads.
The executive order also suspends the issuance of visas to people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya for 90 days.
The seven countries are predominantly Muslim.
Consensual same-sex sexual relations remain punishable by death in Iran, Sudan, Yemen and portions of Somalia. The so-called Islamic State has publicly executed dozens of men in Syria and Iraq who have been accused of committing sodomy.
An LGBT rights advocate in the Libyan city of Benghazi has told the Washington Blade that ISIS militants have killed gay men in his country. He said three men who attacked his car in 2014 later pledged their alliance to ISIS.
The executive order that Trump signed at the Pentagon also indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from entering the country.
More than 400,000 people have died in the Syrian civil war that began in 2011.
The U.N. Refugee Agency says more than 4.8 million Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries. The war has also displaced more than 6 million people within Syria.
The Obama administration in September 2015 announced it would allow 85,000 Syrians to resettle in the U.S. through the current fiscal years. Advocates had called for 500 of these slots to LGBT Syrians who have fled ISIS and other Islamic militant groups.
“I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that administration of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest,” reads the executive order.
The executive order also outlines the so-called “extreme vetting” of potential immigrants once the Trump administration reinstates the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
“In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles,” it reads. “The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.”
“In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including ‘honor’ killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender or sexual orientation,” it adds.
Trump signed the executive order on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Executive order a ‘direct attack on our most cherished values’
The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Monday is expected to file a federal lawsuit against the executive order.
“There is no evidence that refugees — the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation — are a threat to national security,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena F. Masri in a press release. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”
The Human Rights Campaign on its blog described the Trump administration’s “harsh new refugee policies” could “mean the difference between life and death for countless refugees — including LGBTQ refugees fleeing violence and persecution from places such as Syria.”
“This dangerous policy was announced on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day where people around the globe remember the more than 10 million people killed during World War II,” noted HRC. “Prior to and during the Holocaust, Jews, Poles, Roma, LGBTQ people and others were severely exacerbated by anti-immigrant policies that shamefully refused to accept people fleeing the Nazis.”
Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, also sharply criticized the executive order.
“The announcement today represents a direct attack on our most cherished values as a nation,” she said in a statement. “To single out Muslim persons for stigma and suspicion undermines our commitment to inclusion, religious freedom, and our common humanity. Today that Lady of Liberty, symbol of America’s greatest promise to the world, hangs her head and weeps.”
Trump on Wednesday signed two executive orders that spur construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and pave the way for cutting federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” in which undocumented immigrants are protected.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is among the mayors who have said they will defy the “sanctuary city” executive order. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday announced he has cancelled a meeting with Trump that was scheduled to take place at the White House on Jan. 31.
“Mexico does not believe in walls,” said Peña Nieto on Wednesday in a televised address.
Un mensaje para todos los mexicanos: pic.twitter.com/EFcNh7fQtm
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) January 26, 2017