US Homeland Security Chief Promises 'Streamlined' Travel Ban

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Separately, the Trump administration also has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to withdraw its earlier ruling that temporarily suspended the travel ban, because a new, superseding order is about to be issued.

He said President Donald Trump was working on a "streamlined" version of the original executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations, which was quickly overturned by the courts.

"I would say the president is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version", Kelly said. "I will have, this time, the opportunity...to work the roll-out plan in particular to make sure that there's no one in a sense caught in the system moving from overseas to our airports, which happened in the first release".

"The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States", Kelly said, citing the 10,000 to 15,000 apprehensions per month at the southern USA border between 2015 and 2016.

Among the security challenges, Kelly said, was that the US does not have "strong counter-terrorism partnerships" with the countries in question or "robust information on individuals traveling from these countries" to be able to make a good risk assessments before their citizens traveled to the United States. The documents would also order officials to work with agreeable local police and sheriffs to enforce the new regulations, and allow for expedited removal proceedings for detained immigrants who have been in the USA for two years or less.

President Donald Trump's initial attempts to clamp down on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees, citing security reasons, have ground to a halt amid a judicial backlash and chaos at airports. He said the new order was expected next week. "That being said, we will have a short phase-in period to make sure that they don't get on the airplane".

The replacement order could be issued as early as Tuesday, the Journal reported, citing a USA government official.


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

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are pictured.

A White House official told the Washington Post that the memos were drafts and that they are being reviewed by the White House Counsel's Office, which is suggesting changes.

The homeland security chief is in charge of one of the largest government departments, supervising all customs, immigration and border patrol agencies the government operates, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Coast Guard, the U.S. Secret Service, which protects the president, and other security agencies that protect federal property and foreign dignitaries.

"Their claim that everyone left voluntarily and this idea that anyone who wants come back can just call up (U.S. customs officials) is just ludicrous", she said.

The abrupt implementation of the order last month plunged the immigration system into chaos, sparking a wave of criticism from the countries affected, Western allies and some of America's leading corporations.

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