U.S. officials said President Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a temporary U.S. travel ban.
Four officials say the administration's decision follows pressure from the Pentagon and State Department. They had urged the White House to reconsider Iraq's inclusion given its key role in fighting the Islamic State group.
Trump is expected to sign the new order Wednesday. It is designed to replace an earlier Trump order that was blocked by federal courts.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the order before it is signed.
They said six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -— will remain on the travel ban list.
The travel ban, if it is enforced, continues to be a source of debate. A preliminary report by the Department of Homeland Security determined that the “country of citizenship” is unlikely to be a “reliable indicator of potential terror activity.”
The intelligence report found that in the past six years, foreign-born individuals who were “inspired” to strike in the U.S. came from 26 different countries.
A senior administration official told The Wall Street Journal that the DHS report’s assessment overlooked key information and the finished product that the White House requested has not been completed. The White House called the report politically motivated. Officials said it overlooked some information that supported the ban.
“The president asked for an intelligence assessment,” the official said. “This is not the intelligence assessment the president asked for.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report