Immigration ban could be expanded

Reince Priebus (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

 

Reince Priebus suggested on Sunday that President Trump could expand his immigration ban to other countries, even as resistance to the initial order grew. The White House Chief of Staff said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that the president could issue new Executive Orders that might include restrictions on such countries as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Egypt.

The ban on the initial seven countries has caused as uproar as visitors to the US with valid visas were detained at ports of entry. A federal judge issued a ruling temporarily preventing the Trump Administration from deporting these detainees

The Wall Street Journal reported that the ban was enacted suddenly and secretly to prevent terrorists from circumventing the new security measures. Many immigration officials did not see the Order until after it was signed.

There were reports that several of the countries in the initial travel ban were considering retaliatory measures. CNN reported that Iran intended to take “reciprocal measures” to protest the Trump policy. An Iraqi investment magazine, the Baghdad Investor, reported that Iraq had implemented a policy similar to Mr. Trump’s on US citizens entering Iraq.

In many cities around the country, protesters took the streets to protest the policy. The Wall Street Journal reports that the State Department is taking the unusual step of drafting a cable to be signed by dissenting officials. The cable has not yet been released but reportedly has been signed by more than 100 mid-to-high level officials both in Washington and posted abroad.

Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) issued a joint statement criticizing Trump’s ban. “It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted. We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security.”

The senators note that the ban also applies to Iraqis who fought alongside American soldiers against ISIS and al-Qaeda and that the policy may backfire. “This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country,” they write. “That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”

Fortune lists a growing number of Republicans who have gone on record as opposing Trump’s ban. Currently the list includes 18 Republican senators and congressmen from across the country.

Polling on the immigration ban has not yet been released, but Gallup’s daily approval rating showed a sharp uptick in disapproval of President Trump since the announcement of the ban last week. Disapproval of Trump now stands at a majority, 51 percent, while 42 percent approve.

Originally posted on The Resurgent

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