U.S. President, Donald Trump is considering issuing a new executive order banning citizens of certain countries traveling to the United States.
The option is high on his agenda after his initial attempt to clamp down on immigration and refugees snarled to a halt amid political and judicial chaos.
Trump announced the possibility of a “brand new order” that could be issued as soon as Monday or Tuesday, in a surprise talk with reporters aboard Air Force One late on Friday, as he and the Japanese premier headed to his estate in Florida for the weekend.
His signalling of a possible new tack came a day after an appeals court in San Francisco upheld a court ruling last week that temporarily suspended Trump’s original January 27 executive order banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.
It also came on a day a Virginia District Court also threw out the ban for lacking logic.
After hearing arguments in another lawsuit against Trump’s disputed order, U.S. District Judge, Leonie Brinkema seriously questioned the administration’s reasoning for the executive action.
Addressing the case Friday, Brinkema doubted Justice Department claims that Trump’s ban on immigrant travel is a security measure based on threats of terrorism.
The state of Virginia alleges in the case that the order is a “monumental abuse of executive power” intended to make good on Trump’s campaign pledge to bar all Muslims from entering the United States.
“There is strong evidence from the national security community that this order does not do what it purports to do,” Brinkema said. “There is strong, colorful evidence for the motives of this order.”
Trump gave no details of any new ban he is considering. He might rewrite the original order to explicitly exclude green card holders, or permanent residents, said a congressional aide familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified. Doing that could alleviate some concerns expressed by the courts.
A new order, however, could allow Trump’s critics to declare victory by arguing he was forced to change course in his first major policy as president.
Whether or not Trump issues a new order, his administration may still pursue its case in the courts over the original order, which is still being reviewed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told reporters late on Friday that taking the case to the Supreme Court remained a possibility, after another White House official said earlier in the day the administration was not planning to escalate the dispute.
“Every single court option is on the table, including an appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision on the TRO (temporary restraining order) to the Supreme Court, including fighting out this case on the merits,” Priebus said.
“And, in addition to that, we’re pursuing executive orders right now that we expect to be enacted soon that will further protect Americans from terrorism.”
Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg