Priebus: Travel ban ‘doesn’t include’ green-card holders

Protesters hold up signs protesting President Donald Trumps immigration policies at JFK Airport in New York City on Saturday. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday that the executive order barring entry from select countries "doesn't include green-card holders going forward." Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 29 (UPI) — White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday that President Donald Trump‘s executive order barring entry from select countries “doesn’t include green-card holders going forward.”

His clarification came as legislators, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Republican Sen. John McCain, called on the Trump administration to rescind the order.

Priebus, speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, responded to a question by Chuck Todd on whether the White House overruled a recommendation from the Department of Homeland Security stating people with green cards should be allowed to enter the United States.

“We didn’t overrule the Department of Homeland Security. As far as green-card holders moving forward, it doesn’t affect them,” Priebus first said.

But when pressed whether it impacts green-card holders at all, Priebus said: “Well, of course it does. If you’re traveling back and forth, you’re going to be subjected to further screening.”

He said a Customs and Border Patrol agent has “discretionary authority” whether to question citizens coming from the countries in question: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

“I would suspect that if you’re an American citizen traveling back and forth to Libya you’re likely to be subjected to further questioning when you come into an airport,” he said.

Priebus also said other countries may be included in the ban.

“Perhaps other countries needed to be added to an executive order going forward — but in order to do this in a way that was expeditious, in a way that would pass muster quickly, we used the seven countries” already identified by Congress, he said.

Priebus said the order was rolled out quickly because “this is all done for the protection of Americans, and waiting another three days, waiting another three weeks is something that we don’t want to get wrong.”

“President Trump is not willing to get this wrong, which is why he wants to move forward quickly and protect Americans,” Priebus added.

A federal judge issued an emergency stay for refugees, preventing those detained at American airports from being sent back to one of the seven banned countries.

Schumer posted on Twitter that he has spoken with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, adding Kelly: “Assures me the court order will be complied with. All those still in airports expected to be admitted.”

But he urged Trump to rescind his order.

“Exec Orders make US less safe & secure; turn much of the world against us. Joining recent refugees today to call on Pres Trump to rescind,” Schumer tweeted Sunday morning

“Still much more work to do; President Trump must overturn this awful executive order,” he said.

Republican Sen. John McCain criticized the ban during an interview on Face the Nation on CBS.

He said there is “so much confusion out there” that will only give the terror group ISIS “some more propaganda.” He said he’s especially concerned about the effect the ban will have on Iraqis — whose troops are fighting side-by-side with American forces in the battle to retake Mosul.

“The good news is that it’s only got to do with a pause,” he said about the 90-day ban. “The bad news is that obviously this process and these conclusions were not vetted” with the Department of Homeland Security or the Justice Department.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the courts will decide if Trump’s ban “has gone too far.”

“Well, if they’re looking to tighten the vetting process, I mean who would be against that?” McConnell asked on ABC’s This Week.

“But I am opposed to a religious test. The courts are going to determine whether this is too broad.”


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