Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly held a press conference today regarding President Trump’s immigration executive order, telling reporters that he knew the order was coming and saw at least two drafts before it was signed.
Secy. Kelly: We did know the executive order was coming. pic.twitter.com/4FYFEBUy7K
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) January 31, 2017
Kelly also said that high level government lawyers from various agencies, including Homeland Security, were involved in the drafting of the order, which Kelly says is not a travel ban.
“This is not a travel ban,” said Kelly. “This is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system… This way we can ensure the system is doing what it is designed to do, which is protect the American people.”
DHS is looking at various ways to perform the “extreme vetting” Trump has asked for.
It might be certainly an accounting of what websites they visit. It might be telephone contact information so that we can see who they’re talking to….those are the kinds of things we’re looking at, social media. We have to be convinced that people who come here, that there’s a reasonable expectation that we know who they are and what they’re coming here for and what their backgrounds are. And right now there are a number of countries on the planet that don’t have that kind of records keeping, including the seven in question.
Kelly insisted that officials are complying with a court order which protects some visa holders from deportation.
“No member of the Homeland Security team ignored the court order nor would they ignore they court order.”
Staffers at DHS are going to be busy in the coming months:
Sec. Kelly told reporters that over the next 30 days, DHS will analyze and assess the strengths and the weaknesses of the current immigration system, “which is the most generous in the world,” he added.
The DHS will then provide America’s foreign partners and allies 60 days to cooperate with U.S. national security requirements.
This analysis and overhaul is long overdue.