President Donald Trump has given himself permission to lift a temporary travel ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a move that comes as he faces backlash from some conservatives for his executive order on immigration and a backlash from his own party for not enforcing it more vigorously.
The move has given Trump the ability to allow in people from six countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Kingdom.
It’s also given Trump time to implement changes to the order and address concerns among conservatives that the executive order is unconstitutional.
It’s unclear what changes Trump will make to the executive orders that have blocked visas for people from Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen since his inauguration in January.
That ban has been lifted by a federal judge in Washington State.
Trump’s decision to lift the travel bans comes as lawmakers from both parties are preparing a series of bills to ease the burden on American workers.
The House passed legislation on Monday that would allow employers to temporarily exempt workers from the travel restrictions for up to 90 days to help pay for family leave, and two other bills are expected to be introduced this week.
In a statement to NBC News, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president is “committing to lift and fully implement the travel and visa bans that are now in place.”
“This is not a temporary measure, this is a permanent measure, and it will have the same impact as the previous executive order,” Sanders said.
“It is not going to affect our immigration policies, nor will it affect the millions of Americans who are already affected by the ban.”
Sanders added that “President Trump’s actions have been consistent throughout his administration.
His decision to waive this ban was consistent with our position.”
The travel ban, which was signed into law in January and was extended through December, bars refugees from Iran and Somalia, people from Syria and Sudan, and people from Libya, which is considered a terrorist state by the United States.
The ban was also extended for a year for citizens of Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Iraq, Laos, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen.
The White House said it is reviewing its legal position and will continue to review all legal challenges to the ban, and has requested a stay from the Supreme Court pending a ruling.
Trump has made clear his administration will not enforce the travel orders, which have drawn sharp criticism from his fellow Republicans in Congress and across the country.
Trump has said the order is needed to help fight terrorism, but the travel restriction has angered many Republicans, including some who argue that it’s unconstitutional.
The travel bans are widely unpopular among Republicans, but they are supported by the White and Democratic Party establishments in Congress, as well as by the business community.
The Trump administration has also said that it will continue enforcing the ban even after Trump signs an executive order lifting it.