Trump Says Immigration Order to Be ‘Tailored’ to Court Ruling

  • New immigration order to be issued next week, president says
  • Trump acknowledges personal struggle over DACA program

A group of Muslim men pray while supporters hold up signs during an interfaith prayer and rally at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban on immigrants and refugees.

Photographer: Kholood Eid/Bloomberg

President Donald Trump said he’ll sign a new executive order on immigration that will be “tailored” to address the objections of a federal appeals court that halted his temporary ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

The new order will be issued next week, and the president said it will still fulfill the goal of blocking potential terrorists from entering the U.S. that he said he was trying to achieve.

"The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider a very, very bad decision," Trump said at a White House news conference on Thursday. "We can tailor the order to the decision to get just as much.”

Trump’s Justice Department on Thursday told the San Francisco-based appeals court that halted enforcement of the original order that a rehearing on the travel ban is no longer warranted because a superseding order is in the works. The new order will almost certainly trigger a fresh round of legal challenges on a topic that has riveted the nation and sparked turmoil around the globe over the past two weeks.

The court agreed and halted consideration of a rehearing.

Rollout ‘Perfect’

Trump insisted that “the rollout was perfect” for his Jan. 27 executive order even though there was confusion and chaos at airports and border crossings as hundreds of immigrants and travelers, including at least one translator who worked with the U.S. military in Iraq, were detained or delayed in being admitted to the country. About 60,000 people had visas provisionally revoked. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a congressional panel that implementation should have been delayed until the details were worked out.

Trump met with Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday to review options for a revised executive order.

The original order barred Syrian refugees from the U.S. indefinitely, and blocked for 120 days all refugees fleeing their homelands claiming persecution or fear of violence. No citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen could enter the U.S. for 90 days. A court challenge brought by the states of Washington and Minnesota blocked implementation.

The question for plaintiffs and courts after a new order is issued will be whether it makes existing litigation moot. Some experts contend the government’s intent to prohibit Muslims from entering the country is too obvious to be ignored by the courts.

“I’m not sure a revised travel ban can correct the problems," said Dina Haynes, the director of the human rights and immigration law project at New England School of Law in Boston. “There’s enough evidence out there already, regardless of what the new executive order says, to suggest that the intent was based on a protective ground of bias that would impugn most aspects of the ban.”

The White House gave no details about what would be changed in the order. Trump blamed the appeals court, saying it is “in chaos.”

Trump also said on Thursday that he is struggling with what to do about people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. A program initiated by President Barack Obama called Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals provides work permits to to those people and Trump has suggested previously that he is considering leaving it in place.

"DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you," Trump said. “In some of the cases, having DACA and they’re gang members and they’re drug dealers, too. But you have some absolutely incredible kids. I would say mostly.”

“We’re going to deal with DACA with heart,” he said.

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