Trump to replace travel ban with new executive order

U.S. President Donald Trump steps away from the podium and departs after a lengthy news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017. 

REUTERS

During a lengthy press conference Thursday, President Trump announced his intention to replace the existing version of his travel ban with a new executive order, previewing the action that could come as early as “next week.”

“We’re issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country,” Mr. Trump told reporters gathered in the White House’s East Room, for a press conference to announce his newest labor secretary pick. “So we’ll be going along the one path and hopefully winning that, at the same time we will be issuing a new and very comprehensive order to protect our people. That will be done sometime next week, toward the beginning or middle at the latest part.”

Later, he defended his original executive order, which immediately paused the U.S. refugee program and barred any citizen of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the country.

“We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban,” Mr. Trump said, before launching into a harsh critique of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for their decision not to reinstate the travel ban, continuing a days-long campaign against the federal court.

“We had a bad court. Got a bad decision,” he said.

Still, the president said “we’re going to keep going with that decision.”

When asked about details of the upcoming order, Mr. Trump said, “What I wanted to do was do the exact same executive order, but said one thing. I said this to my people. Give them a one-month period of time.”

It was Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly who did not want to build in implementation time for the ban, Mr. Trump told reporters. “Secretary Kelly said, ‘If you do that, all these people will come in,’” the president said.

“If I would’ve done it a month, everything would’ve been perfect,” the president went on to say. “The problem is we would’ve wasted a lot of time, and maybe a lot of lives because a lot of bad people would’ve come into our country.”

In a filing Thursday, the Justice Department said the president’s order would be “substantially revised” but provided few details.  

During the press conference, Mr. Trump also addressed the Obama-era policy of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides some leniency when dealing with undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

We are going to show great heart. DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me,” he said. “To me it’s one of the most difficult subjects because you have these incredible kids, in many cases.”