White House expected to roll out revised immigration order next week

UPDATE — 2/18, 1:52 p.m. EST: Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday, DHS Secretary John Kelly said President Trump is working on a new “tighter, more streamlined version” of the original travel ban directive, which will “make sure that there’s no one caught in the system” during implementation.

Kelly also commented the Jan. 27 order issued by Trump was meant as a “temporary pause” in immigration from the seven countries named to identify where the “vetting system has gaps.”

 

President Trump returned his immigration moratorium to the forefront at a White House press conference Thursday, telling reporters to expect a revised executive order sometime next week.

Mr. Trump’s original executive immigration order, a Jan. 27 directive often interpreted as a “Muslim ban”, placed a moratorium on travelers to the U.S. from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia for 90 days and refugniee seekers for 120 days.

A series of legal challenges and proceedings ensued and Trump’s order was halted by Judge James Robart in Seattle before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a Justice Department challenge to the ruling.

Legal experts anticipate the new order to contain exemptions and an expansion of countries beyond the original seven nations named in the moratorium, namely a selection of non-Muslim countries, focusing only on those who have never before entered the U.S.

Such an approach is designed to avoid legal challenges, but two law professors told AP the re-issuance of that kind of directive could also be appealed on the grounds of religious discrimination.

“The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad decision. We had a bad court,” the president said Thursday.

In a similar development, Justice Department attorneys on Thursday asked the 9th Circuit Court to delay any further legal decisions related to the moratorium and void the ruling issued last week by the three-judge panel once the White House issues its newest order.

DOJ argued in its filing that foreigners aren’t afforded constitutional rights and Trump’s campaign statements about a Muslim ban should not be considered in any judicial ruling.  The San Francisco-based court did agree on halting legal decisions related to the moratorium, but did not commit to throwing out its earlier decision.

 

[Reuters] [AP] [CNN/YouTube] [Photo courtesy AP via SF Gate]