Excerpted From The Hill: The Trump administration will temporarily suspend the entry of foreign nationals from some Muslim-majority countries through executive order, according to refugee advocacy groups who have obtained what they say is a draft copy of an order to be signed by the new president.
The document, which has been published by several news outlets and was obtained separately by The Hill, is titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals.”
It would suspend entry into the U.S. from select countries starting 30 days after the order is issued. The countries in question include Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
The White House did not immediately respond to questions from The Hill about the document.
In the meantime, the order instructs the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence to conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to verify the identities of those looking to enter, and to make sure they are not a security or public-safety threat. A report on the determinations would be due at the end of the 30 days.
Foreign governments that do not already supply such information would be requested to begin doing so within 60 days of notification. Nationals from countries who do not comply would be prohibited from entering the U.S. until compliance occurs. Keep reading
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign several executive orders on Wednesday restricting immigration from Syria and six other Middle Eastern or African countries, according to several congressional aides and immigration experts briefed on the matter.
In addition to Syria, Trump’s orders are expected to temporarily restrict access to the United States for most refugees. Another order will block visas from being issued to those from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the aides and experts, who asked not to be identified.
The restrictions on refugees are likely to include a multi-month ban on admissions from all countries until the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security can make the vetting process more rigorous.
Stephen Legomsky, a former chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Obama administration, said the president has the authority to limit refugee admissions and the issuance of visas to specific countries if it is determined to be in the public’s interest.
“From a legal standpoint, it would be exactly within his legal rights,” said Legomsky, who now is a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. “But from a policy standpoint it would be terrible idea because there is such an urgent humanitarian need right now for refugees.”
The Republican president was expected to sign the orders at the headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security, whose responsibilities include immigration and border security.
On the campaign trail, Trump initially proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, which he said would protect Americans from jihadist attacks. Many Trump supporters decried former President Barack Obama’s decision to increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States over fears that those fleeing the country’s civil war would carry out attacks.
Both Trump and his nominee for attorney general, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, have since said they would focus the restrictions on countries whose emigres could pose a threat rather than placing a ban on people who follow a specific religion.
To block entry from the designated countries, Trump is likely to instruct the State Department to stop issuing visas to people from those nations, according to sources familiar with the visa process. He could also instruct Customs and Border Protection to stop any current visa holders from those countries from entering the United States.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that the State and Homeland Security departments would work on the vetting process once Trump’s nominee to head the State Department, Rex Tillerson, is installed.
Other measures may include directing all agencies to finish work on a biometric identification system for non-citizens entering and exiting the United States and a crackdown on immigrants fraudulently receiving government benefits, according to the congressional aides and immigration experts.
To restrict illegal immigration, Trump has promised to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and to deport illegal migrants living inside the United States. None of the orders to be signed Wednesday are expected to focus on those issues.
Trump is also expected to swear in his new secretary of homeland security, retired Marine General John Kelly, on Wednesday.