Washington, February 11 (RHC)-- U.S. President Donald Trump says he will take action as soon as next week to bolster national security in response to a court ruling blocking his travel ban. Trump declined to say what such a move would entail and White House aides would not elaborate further on Trump’s comments.
His remarks came after reports indicated the White House is considering drafting a new executive order that could clear legal hurdles. The initial order blocked people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days and placed four-month hold on resettling refugees, while blocking refugees from Syria indefinitely.
“We’ll be going forward and we'll be doing things to continue to make our country safe,” the president said. “It will happen rapidly and we will not allow people into our country who are looking to do harm to our people.”
Trump also said the White House would continue to fight the court battle over the order, even though a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Thursday it should be kept on hold. "We will continue to go through the court process, and ultimately I have no doubt that we will win that particular case.”
Whatever the next steps are, Trump insisted he would stick with his core goal of implementing “extreme vetting” for refugees and people entering the U.S. from places he considers to be a terrorist threat. Trump's decision to sign the executive order one week after his inauguration touched off a nationwide controversy that has consumed much of his first weeks in office.
Protests took place at airports around the country as travelers from the countries covered by the order were detained. Opponents of the order have filed almost two dozen lawsuits against it.
To justify his stance, Trump cited looming threats to the homeland that he refused to discuss in detail. “While I've been president, which is just for a very short period of time, I've learned tremendous things that you could only learn, frankly, if you were in a certain position, namely president,” he said. “And there are tremendous threats to our country. We will not allow that to happen, I can tell you that right now.”
Trump is striking a defiant tone after in the wake of the San Francisco-based court’s decision to keep the travel ban on hold. He’s repeatedly ripped into the judge who first issued a temporary restraining order against his policy and then the appeals judges who upheld it, calling the decision “disgraceful” in a Friday morning tweet.
But the Trump administration has yet to announce its next legal step. It could appeal the ruling to the full Ninth Circuit, appeal to the Supreme Court or wait for the case to be judged on the merits in the Seattle-based federal court that initially blocked the policy.
Media reports suggesting the order is being reworked, however, signal the administration believes it has an uphill legal fight in front of it. The Ninth Circuit judges rejected the Department of Justice’s argument that presidential directives on immigration related to national security cannot be subject to legal review.
The judges also wrote that the states challenging the ruling are likely to succeed on the merits in an appeal. But Trump and his advisers have long claimed they are on solid legal footing, citing a portion of immigration law they say gives the president broad authority to decide who enters and leaves the country. They have pointed to a federal court in Boston that ruled in Trump’s favor in a separate lawsuit against the executive order.
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