Donald Trump’s administration has declared the enforcement of a temporary ban on refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries as “a massive success”.
In a statement an official said all three of the president’s orders restricting entry into the US are to remain in full effect for now, despite widespread protests.
Trump’s executive order, signed on Friday, (Jan 27) halted the entire US refugee programme for 120 days, indefinitely banned Syrian refugees, and suspended all nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.
On Sunday (Jan 29) the president showed he was standing firm, using social media to say the US “needs strong borders and extreme vetting”.
Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world – a horrible mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2017
President Trump went on to say:
“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” Trump said in a statement on Sunday. “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.”
Meanwhile there have been demonstrations across the country for a second day. The American Civil Liberties Union says it will help people with valid visas or refugee status who have found themselves detained in transit or at US airports.
In Los Angeles protesters denounced Trump’s actions.
“I came today to send a message to Trump and his administration that we don’t want any ban, we don’t want any wall. We don’t want a fascist USA.”
In Washington demonstrators welcomed air passengers who’d been allowed through.
Trump may have signed his directive on Friday but the policy appears to have been evolving as each hour passed. Border and customs officials have struggled to put it into into practice while sixteen state attorneys general have said the order is unconstitutional and several federal judges have temporarily halted the deportation of visa holders .