DHS head Kelly: Trump is preparing a new 'streamlined' immigration ban


President Donald Trump will soon release a "more streamlined version" of a presidential order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations, but it will be better implemented and avoid the chaos that resulted from an earlier attempt to restrict foreign travelers arriving in the U.S., Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Saturday.

He says Trump is now "contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version" of the executive order limiting immigration. "And I will have opportunity to work [on] a rollout plan, in particular to make sure that there's no-one in a sense caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports".

"If they are in motion from some distant land, when they arrive, they will be allowed in", Kelly said.

The original order barred Syrian refugees from the USA indefinitely, and blocked for 120 days all refugees fleeing their homelands claiming persecution or fear of violence.

"I can tell you right now they're not very reliable", he said of the seven Muslim-majority countries the administration deems terrorism threats that were listed on the initial, temporary travel ban.

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The administration's plan is to leave wide discretion to asylum officers by allowing them to determine which applications have a "significant possibility" of being approved by an immigration court, the sources said.

Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (L) and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly (R) listen while US President Donald Trump puts his papers away at the beginning of a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. Challengers could point to his campaign trail comments and those from ally Rudolph W. Giuliani as evidence that even the new order is meant to discriminate on the basis of religion and thus runs afoul of the Constitution.

Trump on Thursday nevertheless hailed the introduction of the travel ban as smooth.

Mr Kelly promised a "short phase-in period to make sure that people on the other end don't get on airplanes". One of the lead plaintiffs, Hameed Darweesh, an Iraqi husband and father of three who worked for the US military and was issued a valid visa, was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport for more than 18 hours.

They also call for 10,000 more ICE agents and 5,000 more Border Patrol agents to be hired, goals mentioned in Trump's executive actions.

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The memos are now under review by the White House Counsel's Office, which is reportedly seeking some changes.

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.

Nevertheless, these hirings would greatly expand ICE, and the memos would allow for Customs and Border Protection to "begin planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall" - seemingly fulfilling many of Trump's campaign promises, especially those within his August 31, 2016, address on immigration.

Though enforcement priorities will remain undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes, "the Department will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement", the guidelines state.

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Seyfarth Shaw will continue to keep our clients informed on further developments. We are going to do whatever is necessary to keep our country safe.