Secretary John Kelly: I Should Have Delayed Travel Ban Rollout

Posted February 08, 2017

FSRN's Nell Abram has more.

New York City-Following testimony today by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly before the House Homeland Security Committee, Human Rights First urged DHS to adhere to USA law and treaty commitments to protect refugees fleeing violence and persecution. Yet he repeatedly denied that any "chaos" ensued at customs entry points as a result. "Members of Congress couldn't even see for themselves".

The top Democrat on the committee said Kelly wasn't to blame for the order because he had little input. This is normal, everyday operations in any airport in the United States.

People were banned from Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Syria.

He noted that the USA doesn't have an embassy in four of the countries.

"It's very hard to truly vet these people in these countries, the seven countries". "Now, Mr. Secretary, are we take the president at his word? So how can you say this is not a ban on Muslims when that is precisely what he promised?"

Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly accepted responsibility for the widespread confusion surrounding President Trump's temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

According to Kelly, the seven countries named in the ban are "failed nations", unable to provide adequate information on their citizens. "The White House officials who directed the rollout of the Executive Order should be here to answer for this debacle".

The 90-day travel ban was part of an executive order issued by Trump, but temporarily blocked by a judge.

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Later Tuesday, a federal appeals court in San Francisco will hear arguments over whether the United States should restore the order.

About 650 miles of walls and fences already exist along the border now.

The decision was announced the same day as the release of the intelligence community's unclassified report on the Russian government's alleged hacking and disinformation campaign aimed at the helping Trump win the USA presidential election. "We did have to step back a re-cock that first 24-hour period.Going forward I would have certainly taken some time to inform the Congress and certainly that's something all of use will be doing in the future". "Yes, there are many, many places that we need some type of physical barrier right now, backed up by men and women of border protection". Trump insists that Mexico will reimburse US taxpayers for the cost, but Mexico has vowed that it will not pay for the barrier.

"I am committed to executing President Trump's plan to secure our southern border with effective physical barriers, advanced technology and strategic deployment of law enforcement personnel", he said.

Kelly also said his department is immediately taking steps toward constructing a wall along the southern USA border.

During questioning, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., asked Kelly if any "bad people" have been let into the country after the executive order was halted.

"This bill usurps the authority of police chiefs to direct their departments".

"Lesson learned", Kelly testified before the House Homeland Security Committee Tuesday.

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