Hours after a federal judge blocked a key component of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, the White House is backtracking on the order’s applicability to legal permanent residents of the U.S.
“As far as green card holders moving forward, it doesn’t affect them,” White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday morning in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press. But he added that those green card holders could be subject to additional interviews if they frequently travel to the countries in question. “You’re going to be subjected, temporarily, with more questioning,” he said.
The chaotic implementation of the Friday order could be seen nationwide, as students, travelers, and businesspeople hailing from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia were forced to scrap travel plans. Dozens of U.S. green card holders were detained at U.S. airports, as tearful family members filled television screens Saturday awaiting their reunification. A federal judge granted an emergency stay late Saturday to prevent the deportation of those who have arrived and are in transit to the U.S. with valid visas.
CNN reported Saturday that the White House overruled the Department of Homeland Security’s interpretation of the order to say that the order did include green card holders. A senior administration official told reporters Saturday that U.S. green card holders from one of the affected countries currently abroad will need to apply for a waiver before being allowed to return to the U.S. Green card holders from those countries currently in the U.S. would be required to meet with a consular officer before departing the country, the official added.