Trump border ban: White House stands firm over crackdown on refugees
(BBC) The Trump administration is standing firm over its ban on refugees from seven countries despite court rulings and mass protests against the move.
Mr Trump tweeted: “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW,” while his chief of staff said only 109 people had been detained.
A number of judges ruled on the issue – one federal judge temporarily halted the deportation of visa holders.
There has been condemnation from countries around the world.
Mr Trump’s executive order, signed on Friday, halted the entire US refugee programme and also instituted a 90-day travel ban for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Those who were already mid-flight were detained on arrival – even if they held valid US visas or other immigration permits.
Further demonstrations are ongoing today (Sunday) – including one outside the White House. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that, of the 325,000 people entering the US on Saturday, 109 were detained.
“Most of those people were moved out,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press programme.
“We’ve got a couple of dozen more that remain and I would suspect that as long as they’re not awful people that they will move through before another half a day today.”
He said the seven countries had been chosen because they had already been identified by Obama administration as the most likely to harbour terrorists, and did not rule out the fact that more countries could be added to the list.
Some leading Republicans expressed concern.
John McCain called it a “very confusing process” which would “probably, in some areas, give ISIS (Islamic State group) some more propaganda”, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was important to remember that “some of our best sources in the war against radical Islamic terrorism are Muslims”.