Department of Homeland Security vows to enforce Donald Trump's travel bans, despite court order

'Prohibited travel will remain prohibited', it says

Will Worley
Sunday 29 January 2017 12:08 GMT
Protesters gather to denounce President Donald Trump's executive order that bans certain immigration, at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas.
Protesters gather to denounce President Donald Trump's executive order that bans certain immigration, at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas. (G. Morty Ortega/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s travel bans will continue to be enforced by the The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), despite a New York judge placing a temporary stay on it being executed.

Judge Ann Donnelly ruled the bans on refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries, were unconstitutional.

But the DHS said it would “continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people.

Protests erupt outside JFK Airport after President Trump's immigration ban

It said:President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place - prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the US government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety.”

White House officials also insisted there was nothing in the court order which impeded the executive order and it remained in full effect.

Regardless of their legal status in the US, citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen have now been barred from entering the country even if they have the correct documentation.

Islam is the predominant religion in those countries and the order has been widely regarded as an implementation of the ban on Muslims which Mr Trump called for during his electoral campaign, although the President denied this.

The DHS said that the travel ban, passed by the new President by way of executive order, only affected “minor portion of international travellers”.

But even green card holders - legal permanent US residents who may have lived in the country for years - will need additional screening before they are allowed back into America if they were away at the time of the ban.

Re-entry was not guaranteed but was “pending” on vetting.

Senior Trump administration officials Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon overruled an initial DHS interpretation that green card holders would be exempt from the order, according to US broadcaster CNN.

The DHS also said the Executive Orders were a “first step towards re-establishing control over America's borders and national security”.

Later in its statement, the department attempted to strike a conciliatory tone, saying that “less than one per cent” of an estimated 325,000 air travellers were “inconvenienced” because of “enhanced security measures”.

“These individuals went through enhanced security screenings and are being processed for entry to the United States, consistent with our immigration laws and judicial orders,” the statement said. “No foreign national in a foreign land, without ties to the United States, has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States or to demand immigration benefits in the United States.

“The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement President Trump’s Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people.”

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