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President Trump Signs Executive Order to Initiate 'Extreme Vetting'

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump is defending his decision to sign an executive order to initiate a travel ban for some Muslims, and to initiate his "extreme vetting" program for refugees. (Reuters photo)

Friday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that halts the flow of refugees from select Muslim-majority nations that are also hotbeds for radical Islamic terrorism.

The order imposes an indefinite ban on the entry of refugees from Syria and suspends the entry of citizens of several Muslim-majority countries. It also reduces the total number of refugees to be admitted during the current fiscal year—which ends Sept. 30—from 110,000 to 50,000.

The order, part of his "extreme vetting" promised during the presidential campaign, is being implemented in accordance with 8 USC 1182(f), which states:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations—which has had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood—has threatened to sue. And thousands protested at New York City's JFK International Airport on Saturday.

In the midst of the protests, Judge Ann Donnelly granted an emergency stay, preventing the order from being carried out on travelers who have already arrived in the U.S. Donnelly, who serves the Eastern District of New York, is an appointee of President Barack Obama.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which requested the stay, said that Trump's directive would subject refugees, visa holders and others detained to "substantial and irreparable injury." Donnelly agreed, and in her stay order, declared they faced "imminent danger" as a result of the order.

The president issued the following statement in defense of his actions:

America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion—this is about terror and keeping our country safe.

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