Here’s where things stand heading into day 11 of the Trump administration.
Welcome to week two of President Trump’s administration, where it’s clear the controversies are just beginning.
The weekend’s news was dominated by a massive backlash against Trump’s executive order barring refugees, migrants and foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
The order resulted in the detention of travelers at U.S. airports and the disruption of plans for individuals and families intending to resettle in the United States.
Some were taken off planes before they could depart. Some were told to turn around and go back once they arrived. And some were detained — and possibly remain in detention — despite several court orders telling Customs and Border Patrol officers to let them go.
For their part, Trump and his team repeatedly defended the ban as a boost for national security. The president also shot down suggestions the policy targeted Muslims in a fulfillment of his campaign promise to bar entry for people of that faith.
“This is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” Trump said in a statement Sunday. “This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”
CONFUSION REIGNS THROUGH THE WEEKEND
It was clear by Saturday afternoon that the White House had done little to prepare federal agencies to comply with its order. And for most of Sunday, confusion persisted about how the policy would affect different groups of people.
For example, are green-card holders also barred from entry under Trump’s order? The answer seems to be no, but it took until Sunday night for the secretary of homeland security to confirm this.
“I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest,” John Kelly said in a statement around 6:15 p.m. “Lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.”
Customs and Border Patrol officials also failed to evenly enforce court orders temporarily blocking Trump’s policy from taking effect, according to lawyers representing migrants.
Across the country, people remained held in detention after the orders took effect. At Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., detained travelers were not permitted contact with attorneys, despite a court order specifically allowing contact to take place.
ORDER RAISES COUNTERTERRORISM CONCERNS
To some critics, Trump’s order seems poised to do exactly the opposite of its intended goal.
Former CIA director Michael V. Hayden said it has “inarguably has made us less safe.”
Paul Pillar, a former top CIA official, said the order will be “read as another anti-Islam, anti-Muslim action by this president and his administration.”
And Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) predicted it would become a “self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism,” boosting recruitment for extremist groups.
By some evidence, their fears are justified: our colleague observed jihadist groups celebrating Trump’s policy on social media Sunday, predicting it would bring American Muslims to their side.
MEET THE OPPOSITION
Trump signed his executive order on Friday afternoon. By early Saturday morning, the American Civil Liberties Union had filed a challenge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
This was the challenge that produced the first court order temporarily stopping Trump’s policy from taking effect nationwide. But the ACLU is not the only group involved in the opposition.
A vast coalition of progressive, labor and immigrant advocacy groups united in protests around the country. Organizations that provide legal help to migrants helped coordinate free services for families at airports.
Some others in the GOP offered criticism while stopping short of rejecting Trump’s order.
“I don’t want to criticize them for improving vetting,” McConnell said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think we need to be careful. We don’t have religious tests in this country.”
To see if your members of Congress have responded to the ban, check out our running list here.
COMING UP NEXT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
The big news on Monday will likely be Trump’s next executive order, which he plans to sign at 10:30 a.m. Eastern at the White House.
On Capitol Hill, the Senate continues to remain busy approving Trump’s nominees:
- Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship votes on Linda McMahon’s nomination to lead the Small Business Administration, time TBA.
- Full Senate votes on invoking cloture for Rex Tillerson’s nomination for secretary of state around 5:30 p.m.
- Senate Committee on Finance votes on Steven Mnuchin’s nomination for treasury secretary around 6 p.m.
In the evening, Democratic lawmakers will rally against Trump’s immigration order in front of the Supreme Court.