Does not the exclusion of Iraq put to lie the admin’s premise of using the countries excluded from the VWP as the starting point for Trump’s immigration ban?
The point of the VWP was that enhanced vetting of visa applicants on the US’s side was necessary to make up for deficiencies in documentation etc. in the seven listed countries. Based on every available measure, that 2016 program, in concert with the vetting already in place prior, has been effective for more than the last decade. No marked improvements in Iraq’s documentation etc. of individuals has been reported, and certainly not over that last month – it challenges belief that any meaningful changes could have been implemented by Iraq in so short a time.
As such, when the EO states regarding the exclusion of Iraq: “Decisions about issuance of visas or granting admission to Iraqi nationals should be subjected to additional scrutiny to determine if applicants have connections with ISIS or other terrorist organizations, or otherwise pose a risk to either national security or public safety“, it admits the VWP in combination with the extant visa process was working sufficiently. There is no justification for the ban, of the remaining six VWP excluded nations, or otherwise.
Additional research relating to the original 27Jan17 EO can be found here.