Why Trump Will Revise and Reissue Travel Ban
President shifts course on immigration action, DOJ withdraws request from appeals court
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he plans to issue a revised order curtailing travel from terrorism-compromised countries, and the Justice Department asked an appellate court to hold off on consideration of the original directive.
Trump’s national security executive order has been on hold since a federal judge in Seattle granted a temporary restraining order earlier this month. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last week upheld that decision.
“The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad decision. But we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything and in some ways more.”
At an impromptu news conference on Thursday, Trump criticized that decision but said he soon would unveil a new order.
“The new order is going to be very much tailored to what I consider to be a very bad decision,” he said. “But we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything and in some ways more.”
Trump took a shot at the appellate judges.
“That circuit is in chaos,” he said. “And that circuit, frankly, is in turmoil.”
Initially, the Justice Department had asked the full circuit to review the decision by the three-judge panel. But in a court filing Thursday, the Justice Department asked the court to hold off.
“Rather than continuing this litigation, the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns,” the brief states. “In so doing, the President will clear the way for immediately protecting the country rather than pursuing further, potentially time-consuming litigation.”
The brief asks the court, after the president issues the new order, to vacate the three-judge panel’s ruling.
If the states of Washington and Minnesota — which challenged Trump — found the new order objectionable, they would have to file a new suit in district court.
The government’s brief does not spell out what a new executive order would contain. But it appears likely that, at the very least, it would explicitly exempt lawful permanent residents. The government argued Thursday that the 90-day pause in travel from the seven affected countries never was meant to include green card holders.
The brief stated that the appeals court judges erroneously believed the executive order applied to permanent residents, as well as foreigners who are already in the United States and are seeking asylum.
“It does not,” the brief states.
The main focus of the executive order, the government argues, “is on aliens who have never entered this country and have no connection to it.”
Kyle Shideler, director of threat information at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, said the Trump administration appears most concerned with the ability to block refugees from countries like Syria, where millions of people have fled civil war and where the government is barely functioning and cannot assist U.S. authorities in screening people who want to be relocated to America.
“It’s clear that the Trump administration intends to act on this and continues to work on this until they find something that sticks,” he told LifeZette.
But Washington and Minnesota, which claimed the travel ban negatively impacted their businesses, public universities, and tax streams, continued to maintain that Trump's order amounted to a Muslim ban.
"Trump reaffirmed this promise throughout his campaign," Washington Solicitor General Noah Purcell wrote in a court filing Thursday. "Although Trump began referring to his plan in terms of 'territories' or 'extreme vetting,' he continued to make it clear that he intended to enact a Muslim ban."
Purcell asked the court not to take the case and simply affirm the three-judge panel's ruling upholding the trial court's injunction. He called the panel's ruling a "careful, thoughtful, and narrow opinion."