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Executive Order on Immigration: Strong Action, Uncertain Orders

by Countable | 3.20.17

Dozens of immigrants are stranded at airports around the country, according to news reports, activist organizations and several travel authorities. Many were already on airplanes when President Trump signed an Executive Order on Friday afternoon barring their entry into the country. Customs and Border Protection agents seeking to comply with the order blocked refugees and immigrants from designated countries from passing through airport security.

A federal judge in New York has barred authorities from deporting those who hold a valid US visa, but that order gave no guidance as to whether they should be allowed entry. Early Sunday morning, a federal judge in Massachusetts issued a second order that went even further, preventing the government from taking actions to "detain or remove" people affected by the order who came to the U.S. The legal hold on the order will last for at least seven days to allow a hearing to be scheduled.

Demonstrators, including some members of Congress, have gathered to protest the executive order at airports across the country. The Dept. of Homeland Security had denied entry to 109 travelers prior to the order being signed, and didn't say how many of that total had been sent home or detained.

The executive order on refugee admissions — entitled "Protection of the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the U.S." — looks to slow down and improve the vetting process for refugees through the following actions:

  • Prohibiting Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. indefinitely.
  • Suspending refugee admissions from all countries for 120 days while the State Department evaluates which countries pose the least risk.
  • Temporarily suspending visa issuance to countries of "particular concern," and after 60 days federal agencies would be instructed to draft a list of countries that don’t comply with requests for information. Foreign nationals from those countries would be banned from entering the U.S.
  • For 30 days all "immigrant and nonimmigrant" individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen would be banned from entering the U.S.
  • The total number of refugees who could be admitted during fiscal year 2017 is to be reduced and capped at 50,000 — former President Obama had called for the admission of 110,000 refugees.
  • Establishing "safe zones to protect vulnerable Syrian populations" in Syria, which the secretary of defense would produce a plan for within 90 days.
  • Expediting the completion of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all visitors to the U.S. and requiring in-person interviews for all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa.
  • Allowing individuals who would otherwise be blocked from entering the U.S. based on their country of origin to come to America on a case-by-case basis based on the determination of the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security.
  • Suspending the visa interview waiver program indefinitely and reviewing whether existing reciprocity agreements are reciprocal in practice.

You can tell your lawmakers what you think of Trump's executive order, and whether they should support or oppose related legislation using the "Take Action" button below:

— Andrea Seabrook & Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: FEMA / Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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  • Barak
    01/30/2017
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    Please speak out against and resist this executive order!

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  • Dana
    01/29/2017
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    This ban is unconstitutional and a threat to all Americans. Block this action and fight against Trump's executive orders.

    Like (203)
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  • Liz
    01/29/2017
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    Please resist this!

    Like (129)
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  • Shannon
    01/29/2017
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    This is not what America is about and doesn't reflect our morals and values.

    Like (124)
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  • Eric
    01/29/2017
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    I do not agree with this. This is un-American and I expect you to take action

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  • Geoff
    01/29/2017
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    Be American. Ban the Ban.

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  • Cathy
    01/30/2017
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    You might want to check the "Alternative Facts" that Trump has used to help justify his Executive Order to ban immigrants from seven selected countries, predominantly Muslim. He and his minions keep citing a similar ban which Obama put into place in 2011 against these same seven countries. I listened this morning to an interview of Former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who actually served in that position during the timeframe in question, and addressed this very issue. There was never an actual ban on those countries during that period. The issue of improved vetting procedures was brought about as a result of an incident involving 2 Iraqi refugees. After two Iraqi refugees were arrested in Bowling Green, Tennessee in 2011 for plotting to send Stinger missiles, cash, sniper rifles, and rocket propelled grenade launchers to Iraqi jihadists, a plot which never actually reached fruition, Homeland Security identified a gap in the screening process. One of the guys had been under investigation by the FBI within five months after he had entered the US and the other had an arrest record in Iraq which he had lied about during the previous vetting process. The Obama administration directed a six month review of the entire vetting process and correction to the existing procedures. There was no ban on Iraqis or immigrants from any other country from entering, just a slow down while the vetting process was rigorously expanded to include more extensive biographic and biometric checks and to identify any new derogatory information which existed since the initial checks were done. The vetting process takes roughly two years to complete. For the Trump administration to compare their ban of those seven countries to what was done in 2011 by Obama is a sham. The chaos and fear they are creating in this country and abroad is a disgrace to our Democractic principles and will only result in like treatment with us by the world community. The real fact that Trump did not bother to include the Attorney General's Office, Homeland Security or the FBI in his ill conceived decision have only made matters worse. Calls to your Senators and Representatives are critical to getting this nightmare of an administration under control. I am calling my Senators and Congressman to demand action on their part to rein in the Executive Branch activities which are creating an International Diplomatic nightmare. I didn't realize that this country had elected a "King" who would disregard his responsibility to work with the other two branches of government, his behavior is frighteningly out of control. Although, as I write this comment I hear that White House is now blaming everyone, but themselves for the fiasco concerning both the Muslim ban (after all, let's call it what Trump called it throughout his election run).

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  • Denise
    01/30/2017
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    This is unAmerican and will backfire. Please oppose

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  • Cheryl
    01/30/2017
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    Absolutely unacceptable. Resist this!

    Like (82)
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  • Eric
    01/29/2017
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    I would rather die in a country that accidentally admits a radical extremist than live in one that is too afraid to help people in need.

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  • Chad
    01/30/2017
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    This does not represent American values. Please speak against this asap!

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  • Amanda
    01/30/2017
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    Speak out!

    Like (70)
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  • Jared
    01/29/2017
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    This action goes against every traditional American value we've espoused throughout our history. We must fight this ignorant policy without hesitation.

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  • Krista
    01/29/2017
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    This executive order is wholly unconstitutional. Saddened to see that people have forgotten that America was founded by immigrants and that's what make us so great. Please do not let this type of thing continue!!!

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  • Paula
    01/29/2017
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    What happened to us?! This is not who we are.

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  • Caroline
    01/29/2017
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    This is the United States of America. I feel the biggest threat to our democracy is coming from the White House right now. I do not support Trump and will be paying attention to the response of my elected officials to these embarrassing executive actions taken by him.

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  • Laura
    01/29/2017
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    Please take a firm stand against this inhuman executive order that bans entry into the US based on religion and country of origin.

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  • wsdraperv
    01/29/2017
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    Following through with his campaign promise. Refreshing. Done more for US security than Obama did in 8 years. Implementing Obamas own 2015 unimplemented plan. Genius. Dusted it off and signed it.

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  • Daniel
    01/29/2017
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    This executive order is unlawful, unconstitutional and immoral. I demand you speak against it and do everything in your power to fight it.

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  • Mary
    01/30/2017
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    I urge you to do whatever is necessary to stop the Immigration EO that Trump signed ~ it's unconstitutional and un-American!!

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