Society

Homeland Security To Probe Immigration Ban

| by Lauren Briggs

President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel, immigration and the refugee program is now under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog.

On Feb. 1, the department's Office of the Inspector General released a statement confirming that the review is coming due to a high volume of complaints from Congress, whistleblowers and the general public.

The office will investigate the new law as well as the department's response and individual allegations of misconduct. Upon completion, it will release its results publicly.

The controversial executive order bans everyone from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia from entering the United States, temporarily suspends the U.S. refugee program and indefinitely halts the Syrian refugee program.

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Most GOP leaders have stood by Trump's action. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, called it "regrettable" that the implementation of the law caused some "confusion" for people with green cards, special immigrant visas, and others, but he expressed hope that the government would soon iron out the kinks and get the vetting process running smoothly, notes the Los Angeles Times.

"What is happening is something we support," said Ryan, whose office was the target of a sit-in by protesters opposed to Trump's order. "We need to pause and we need to make sure that the vetting standards are up to snuff so we can guarantee the safety and security of our country."

The order has sparked fierce opposition from critics who have been protesting across the nation, saying that it is effectively a Muslim ban, while some of those directly affected have filed federal lawsuits.

Two of those suits were filed by long-term American residents, one of whom is a businessman who was caring for his sick mother in his native Iran and was told that he could not purchase a return ticket, reports the Chicago Tribune. Another is internal medicine resident Dr. Amer Al Homssi, who traveled to the United Arab Emirates for a wedding and had his visa revoked upon attempting to board a plane home to the U.S.

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Government officials are working to settle both suits and have since determined that permanent residents are not subject to the ban.

Sources: DHS Inspector General, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times / Photo credit: Pixabay

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