Trump's new Muslim ban 'tighter, more streamlined,' Kelly says

Posted February 20, 2017

President Donald Trump said Thursday he would announce a new executive order on immigration next week after federal courts suspended his ban on the ground it targeted Muslims and was implemented without due care or preparation.

A new version of a Trump administration travel ban will be "streamlined", U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security John Kelly said on Saturday.

"The President is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first (order)".

Kelly said this next time he will be able to "make sure that there's no one caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports".

"The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States", Kelly said, citing the 10,000 to 15,000 apprehensions per month at the southern US border between 2015 and 2016.

Three sources familiar with the drafting of the guidance said the goal of the new instructions is to raise the bar on initial screening in order to ease strain on the courts and reduce the number of immigrants allowed to stay in the United States, often for years, while they await a hearing.

The first order temporarily barred people from seven Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the United States for 90 days, as well as all refugees for 120 days - except those from Syria, who were banned indefinitely. This stems from difficulties that led his original travel ban, stemming from a January 27 executive order, in courts. He criticized the court order suspending the ban as "a very bad decision, very bad for the safety and security of our country". As a result, Trump is working on a new version of the order.

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The original travel ban, which was set aside by USA courts, was issued January 27.

He promised "a short phase-in period to make sure that people on the other end don't get on airplanes". One of the lead plaintiffs, Hameed Darweesh, an Iraqi husband and father of three who worked for the USA military and was issued a valid visa, was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport for more than 18 hours.

An unidentified White House official told The Washington Post the draft memos are under review by the White House Counsel's Office.

Raids in early February, in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE) rounded up more than 680 people in almost a dozen states, spurred widespread fear across immigrant communities. Nevertheless, those holding visas already flying will not be denied entry.

The homeland security chief is in charge of one of the largest government departments, supervising all customs, immigration and border patrol agencies the government operates, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Coast Guard, the U.S. Secret Service, which protects the president, and other security agencies that protect federal property and foreign dignitaries.

The memos also outlined plans for greatly expanding the categories of people that immigration agents target for deportation, and gives them wide discretion in deciding who to deport.

The affidavit said the list of 141 individuals has been provided to the State Department.