DHS Secretary John Kelly has confirmed that his department has issued a new order barring people from seven countries from entering the U, including Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya and Somalia.
“In light of the threat posed by the so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ in those nations, we are directing our resources to enforce these laws,” Kelly said during a news conference Tuesday, adding that his order does not bar immigrants from any country from entering.
“It does not change the way we are going to enforce our immigration laws, nor does it create a new ‘sanctuaries,'” he added.
“But we are not going to wait to see what happens to the cities that are doing the wrong thing, we will take enforcement action to ensure that they don’t come into the country.”
“The president will not be issuing any further orders on this matter,” he added, referring to his travel ban.
The order comes in response to the release of documents detailing a secret government memo detailing plans to institute an immigration policy that would target people from countries deemed “extreme vetting.”
Kelly’s order also blocks the issuance of any visa to anyone from the seven countries, as well as bans citizens of those countries from traveling to the U for 90 days.
“The United States will continue to exercise our strong and unwavering support for the people of Iraq and Syria, and will work to defend them against the ongoing threat of terrorism,” Kelly added.
The new DHS directive was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The Trump administration also has suspended all visa applications from the countries included in the order, which is also called the “Iraqi Visa Review Program,” or I-5R.
“We are also suspending the I-10 and I-20 visas and the visa waiver program,” Kelly explained.
“So, if you were to apply for a visa from a country on the list, you’re now prohibited from traveling for 90 consecutive days, unless you’re a citizen of that country,” he said.
“And if you’re from Iraq, you are now prohibited for 90 straight days from traveling back to Iraq, unless that country is at war with you.”
Kelly added that the Department of Justice is working with DHS to “resolve the issues raised” with the immigration restrictions, which will be reviewed by the Justice Department.
“As I have stated before, this executive order does nothing to address our ongoing and grave national security threats, including terrorism, and is not meant to serve as a pathway to entry into the United States,” Kelly continued.
“I can assure you that this order will be enforced.
We will continue working to enforce it.”
Trump has been criticized for his executive order banning travel to seven predominantly Muslim countries.
“What we have to do is enforce this order.
We can’t do it on our own.
The president has to enforce this.
And I don’t think he’s going to,” Kelly told reporters on Tuesday.
“Because I don, we’re not going back in the way.
He’s not going in the right direction.
We have to enforce.
And we’re going to.”
Trump also issued a second travel ban, this time barring people in six countries from travel for 120 days.
He said that those bans would be enforced in accordance with the Justice Dept. guidelines.
The White House also said that people in the countries singled out in the new order would not be subject to any additional restrictions, including a ban on refugee admissions.