Analysts said that the move is a coordinated effort by the State Department to let in as many refugees from these countries as possible, in case the ban is reinstated by the Supreme Court.
The travel ban halted all citizens from predominantly Muslim countries Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days – regardless of their immigration or residency status in the U.S.
The order also put America’s refugee program on an immediate 120-day halt, and stopped all refugees from Syria from entering the U.S. refugee program indefinitely.
The executive order caused chaos as soon as it was signed on January 27, with customs officials unsure what to do about people from the seven countries arriving at U.S. airports – unaware of the order.
Critics quickly filed challenges to the ban in court and on February 3, Judge James Robart halted the order on the basis that it was likely violating the law.