Published: Mon, February 20, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Trump Planning 'Streamlined' Immigration Order


Even if President Donald Trump made clear his order did not apply to green-card holders, or limited it so that it affected only those applying for visas, a three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said that would not necessarily persuade them to lift their freeze.

If adopted, the changes would be in connection with executive orders Trump signed in late-January that temporarily ban refugee programs and travel to the USA from seven mostly Muslin nations.

"The President is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first (order). In particular to make sure that there's no one in a sense caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports, which happened on the first release", he said.

"It's a good assumption" that green-card holders will be exempt, he said, referring to legal permanent residents.

"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", Secretary Kelly wrote, citing a surge of 10,000 to 15,000 additional apprehensions per month at the US-Mexico border between 2015 and 2016.

As part of Trump's original order, citizens from seven countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - were not allowed to enter the country for 90 days.

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. President Donald Trump has criticized the courts for their decisions, saying they threatened national security.

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Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States and at the border.

Mr Kelly promised a "short phase-in period to make sure that people on the other end don't get on airplanes".

The abrupt implementation of the ban, which was enforced just hours after it was signed, caught many officials and travelers unaware, leading to chaos and protests at global airports in the US and overseas.

The replacement order could be issued as early as Tuesday, the Journal reported, citing a US government official.

According to the US customs official, 44 people were denied entry at USA airports and another 97 were denied entry at land border ports of entry between January 27, when Trump signed the executive order, and February 3, when a federal judge in Washington state blocked its enforcement. His memos are copied to officials at Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Nor will it affect foreign travelers already flying to US ports of entry when the order takes effect, he added.

"Their claim that everyone left voluntarily and this idea that anyone who wants come back can just call up (U.S. customs officials) is just ludicrous", she said.

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.

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