White House Appears to Pull Back on Part of Policy on Vetting
On Sunday, the White House appeared as if it was pulling back on one key part of the tough immigration order by the President, signaling that travelers attempting to enter the U.S. from the 7 countries banned by President Trump can enter if they are green card holders.
Chief of Staff at the White House Reince Priebus announced that the permanent residents were exempt from the ban moving ahead, even though during the weekend other officials from the administration said the rule did not apply green card holders.
This apparent reversal arrives amidst a widespread controversy over the new order by Trump that temporarily stopped entry into the U.S. of all refugees and travelers from seven countries that are predominantly Muslim populated including Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.
Federal judges across the U.S. blocked sections of the executive actions by Trump since he implemented them on Friday. For the most part, the judges prevented deportations of certain travelers that ran into the implementation during the weekend.
The changes over the weekend with regard to holders of green cards reflected confusion over the new order that also bars all refugees from Syria from entering the U.S. for an indefinite period.
Lawyers of some of the affected immigrants have said that border officials appeared uncertain over how the new rules worked and even at times disagreed with each other about the travelers that were affected and those that were not.
Making the situation more complicated was a statement made by Homeland Security that asserted its agents would be enforcing all of the orders by Trump while complying with the judicial orders. Since some of the judicial orders have blocked deportation that has left certain officers to attempt to determine which priorities must be honored.
On Sunday, Senator Mitch McConnell the Senate Majority Leader said the U.S. should not be imposing what he called a religious test on those seeking entrance to the country, in part because doing so would upset key allies in the country’s fight against terror.
McConnell gave praise to Trump for his ramping up of vetting of those trying to come into the U.S., but warned against the vetting signaling out just Muslims.
Kellyanne Conway the senior counselor at the White House said on Sunday that the additional vetting was aimed at just promoting overall security and if a traveler is not considered dangerous they will likely be released.