President Trump said he will issue a new executive order next week to revive his temporary shutdown of the U.S. refugee program and ban against admitting immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries. The Jan. 27 order has been blocked by federal judges.
During his press conference Thursday, Trump said he disagreed with rulings from two courts that have kept his order from being enforced since Feb. 3. But rather than continuing that legal fight, Trump said he will issue a new order that would survive legal scrutiny.
“The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad (judicial) decision,” Trump said.
The Department of Justice confirmed that strategy in a brief it filed Thursday, saying it would not seek another appeal from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals due to the president’s upcoming order.
Trump’s executive order temporarily barred citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days, and Syrian citizens indefinitely. The order caused widespread chaos as people from those countries were detained at U.S. airports or prevented from boarding U.S.-bound flights around the world.
In the days that followed, federal judges from Massachusetts to New York to Hawaii issued emergency stays prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security from implementing the order in their states. Then, on Feb. 3, District Judge James Robart in Seattle issued a nationwide temporary restraining order, arguing that Trump’s ban likely violated the due process rights of citizens from the seven countries who had become legal permanent residents of the U.S. or had entered the country on valid visas.
Trump bashed that ruling, calling Robart a “so-called judge.”
The next stop was the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel issued a unanimous ruling on Feb. 9 upholding Robart’s order. Trump also lashed out at those judges — two appointed by Democratic presidents, one by a Republican — accusing them of being politically motivated.
Trump said the temporary ban is necessary to give his intelligence agencies time to improve the screening process for foreigners trying to enter the country from terror-prone countries. He wants to institute “extreme vetting” procedures and said federal law gives him the power to suspend immigration from specific countries because it’s in the national security interests of the U.S.
Attorneys representing Washington state and Minnesota, which filed the lawsuit against Trump’s ban, conceded that presidents have broad powers to enforce immigration, but argued that Trump overstepped his authority. They said Trump’s order unfairly targeted people based on their religion as a result of his repeated promises to institute a “Muslim ban.” And they said foreigners legally allowed to be in the U.S. were not given an opportunity to challenge their right to enter the country.
One possible solution for Trump is to reissue a new order that only bars travel for people from those seven countries who have never entered the U.S. previously.