Blocked by courts, President Donald Trump is considering a “brand new order” to prevent terrorists from entering the United States even though he said he was confident of winning the legal battle over the stalled executive order.
“We will win that battle,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One on way to his Florida resort where he is hosting visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinto Abe and his wife for the weekend. “The unfortunate part is that it takes time statutorily, but we will win that battle. We also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order.”
The president indicated it could come as early as “perhaps Monday or Tuesday”.
Asked for details, he replied, “New security measures. We have very, very strong vetting. I call it extreme vetting and we’re going very strong on security. We are going to have people coming to our country that want to be here for good reason.”
An appeals court in San Francisco ruled on Thursday to uphold a lower court’s stay on Trump’s January 29 executive order barring visa-holders from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.
‘Political’ and ‘disgraceful’
Trump, who called the appeals court ruling “political” and “disgraceful” has essentially three options, according to experts. One, challenge the ruling before a larger bench of the appeals court, the ninth circuit. But, being the most liberal of the circuit courts, the outcome might be no different.
Two, appeal to the Supreme Court, which is currently tilting left with four liberal justices to three conservatives; the eighth justice tends to vote either way, making him the swing vote that no group can count on as theirs.
Three, Trump could come back with a new order, as he has indicated he is considering, retaining elements from the stalled version and hope for this one to not face the same fate, which is unlikely, as opponents and critics have tasted blood. The order continued to be challenged in court around the country.
The order bars citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya from entering the US for 90 days, from the date of issue, and all refugees for 120 days; indefinitely for those from Syria.
The administration, which has said the seven-country list could be expanded, plans to use the time to put in place “extreme vetting” measures to keep terrorists — “bad dudes”, as the president has called them — out of the country. And when the refugee programme resumes, the plan is to reduce the annual intake by more than half.