President Donald Trump hints at removing Visa bans
President Donald Trump, trying to quell a backlash over his “extreme vetting” order, said the United States would resume issuing visas to all countries once secure policies are put in place over the next 90 days.
Under an order he signed on Friday, immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries were barred from entering the United States. The decision has drawn large protests at many US airports, where some travelers from those countries have been stranded.
“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” Trump said. “This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.
“We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days,” he said.
Aides to Trump on Sunday called the implementation of a temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries a “massive success story” despite criticism from some top Republicans, protests and disarray at airports.
A senior administration official said the executive orders signed by Trump on Friday, which bars the admission of Syrian refugees and suspends travel to the United States from Syria, Iraq, Iran and four other countries on national security grounds, was being fully enforced by relevant agencies.
“Nothing has changed,” said the official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity as rallies against the move erupted across the United States.
US judges in at least five states blocked federal authorities from enforcing the order. Lawyers representing people covered by the order said, however, that some authorities were unwilling to follow the court rulings.
The administration official rejected criticism of the way Trump’s plan had been implemented, saying: “So it really is a massive success story in terms of implementation on every single level.”
Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, however, that the application of the order was poorly implemented, particularly for green card holders, who have lawful permanent residence status.