New York City-Following testimony today by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly before the House Homeland Security Committee, Human Rights First urged DHS to adhere to USA law and treaty commitments to protect refugees fleeing violence and persecution. "Members of Congress couldn't even see for themselves".
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the ranking member on the committee, pressed Kelly on whether the administration had proof that those targeted by Trump's order ― including refugees ― meant to harm the U.S.
Kelly said the Trump administration is not contemplating adding additional countries to the list of seven, but the administration is looking at additional vetting processes to be sure they know who is coming into the country.
The head of Homeland Security defended President Trump's immigration ban but said he erred in not telling lawmakers about it before it went into effect. Kelly said he would rely on border agents to tell him where they need a wall right away, and fill in gaps with ground sensors, surveillance blimps and other technologies that help detect illegal border crossings.
"If something happens bad from letting people in, they don't come and ask the judge about his ruling, they come to me". "I should have slowed it down by a day, maybe two".
Under the measure, people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya - countries that are majority Muslim but were designated as terrorism-prone in McCaul's previous legislation and by the Obama administration - are blocked from entering the country for 90 days.
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Kelly defended the executive order that is now on hold that bara nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.as "lawful and constitutional", while acknowledging failures in the way it was introduced. According to court testimony, the ban has - in practice - resulted in the revocation of around 100 thousand visas.
Vela interrupted to say that he agrees "we have to do something".
The order Trump signed January 27 - just a week into his term as president - bars nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days, and freezes the government's entire refugee program for 120 days. "We believe it is lawful and constitutional".
The Texas Senate committee hearing turned into a 16-hour marathon session as more than 450 people signed up to give their input, almost all opposed to the bill.
"My greatest concern is what this will do to police-community relations", Manley said hurriedly after his time to speak had expired. It was released, I think, as you recall, the third one I'm talking about now, was released on-late on a Friday.
In the end, the bill passed out of committee along a party line vote and moved to the Texas Senate floor where it is expected to do the same Tuesday.