Trump's National Security Agenda Continues on Track
President Trump and DHC
Respond to Recent Litigation
January 29, 2017
ON FRIDAY, Jan. 27, just seven days into his presidency, President Donald J. Trump took an important first step in fulfilling a promise that was one of the major pillars of his election campaign, signing an executive order designed to protect from the entry of foreign terrorists into the United States through "extreme vetting."
The order, which was effective immediately, placed a temporary suspension — a moratorium, if you will — on the entry of refugees to the United States and on the entry of any foreign nationals from seven specific countries of concern, until procedures could be put in place to be sure that those who were allowed to enter the country had been properly screened and vetted.
Accordingly, Department of Homeland Security personnel began to do their jobs, and several people arriving at various airports around the country were detained in order that they could be properly vetted before being allowed a free run of the country.
President Trump's opponents on the Left were already poised to spring into action, and several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, promptly filed lawsuits. The ACLU litigation, a "motion for stay of removal," was filed with a U.S. District Court in New York, presided over by Judge Ann Donnelly, an Obama appointee. Judge Donnelly granted the stay late Saturday.
The media cheered, of course, and nearly every media outlet in the country ran with headlines declaring that the judge had "blocked" Trumps executive order. In actuality, the stay did nothing except to stop DHS from deporting those who had been detained until they had an opportunity for a hearing and proper screening, and it applied only to those who had visas and were already on a plane en route to the United States, or who had already arrived at the airport. It had no effect on anyone anywhere who was not already in transit, and it had no bearing on any other aspect of President Trump's order. In other words, the ruling's legal impact on the president's executive order was essentially nil. But the propaganda machine of the Left hailed it as a total defeat of President Trump's immigration agenda.
On Sunday, Jan. 29, President Trump issued the following statement:
“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave.
"We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say. My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.
"This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.
"I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.”
The Department of Homeland Security also issued the following statement in response to the litigation:
"The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people. President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place—prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety. President Trump’s Executive Order affects a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America's borders and national security.
"Approximately 80 million international travelers enter the United States every year. Yesterday, less than one percent of the more than 325,000 international air travelers who arrive every day were inconvenienced while enhanced security measures were implemented. These individuals went through enhanced security screenings and are being processed for entry to the United States, consistent with our immigration laws and judicial orders.
"The Department of Homeland Security will faithfully execute the immigration laws, and we will treat all of those we encounter humanely and with professionalism. No foreign national in a foreign land, without ties to the United States, has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States or to demand immigration benefits in the United States.
"The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement President Trump’s Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people."
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