HS secretary Kelly goes before Congress, takes blame for travel ban

Feb 08, 2017, 00:29
HS secretary Kelly goes before Congress, takes blame for travel ban

US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Tuesday that judges who blocked the White House's immigration ban were living in an academic "vacuum" and did not see the real threat to the country.

That same story claimed that DHS had initially interpreted the order so that it didn't apply to green-card holders - only to be overruled by Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, who wanted green-card holders admitted into the US on a case-by-case basis.

"In retrospect, I should have - this is all on me by the way - I should have delayed it just a bit so I could have talked to members of Congress", Kelly told members of the committee, CNN reported.

Kelly's comment to the House Homeland Security Committee was the most direct acknowledgment by a high-level administration official that the rollout of Trump's executive order had been mishandled.

"I know it's been an inconvenience by what was done at the counter, so to speak", he said, adding that travelers were "treated humanely".

In light of reports that Kelly and senior department staff had limited information about the ban and its content, Democrats suggested that they should turn their questioning toward the White House.

HS secretary Kelly goes before Congress, takes blame for travel ban

Kelly defended the order saying it will enhance public safety "for all our citizens".

"The rollout of his executive order has been problematic", McCaul said. "We believe it is lawful and constitutional". Some changes were made.

"Since September 11, 2001, not a single terrorist attack in the United States has been perpetrated by aliens from the countries named in the Order, " the group said. He emphasized that the ban was not created to discriminate against Muslims, but was directed against states with insufficient security procedures.

Kelly also discussed another executive order, which requires a wall to be built on the border with Mexico.

(Kelly) "My feeling is the vetting on the other end in those seven countries are suspect". The secretary also stated that DHS can quickly return "interdicted aliens to their countries of origin, avoiding the costlier processes required if they successfully enter the United States", without referencing any mechanisms to assure protection from return for any individuals at risk of persecution, torture or trafficking if returned to Cuba, China, Haiti, or another country.

The appeals court panel will have to consider whether Trump exceeded his authority and violated the First Amendment and federal immigration law, and whether his order imposes irreparable harm on those it affects.

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