Donald Trump’s immigration ban targeting some Muslims and refugees entering the US does not apply to green cards holders, a top White House aide said today, amid ongoing confusion and anger over the controversial crackdown. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that the temporary ban “doesn’t include green card holders going forward,” Priebus told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.
He added however that anyone traveling back and forth from the countries in question — including US citizens — would be subjected to further screening.
Priebus was asked about reports that Trump’s executive order issued on Friday affected green card holders, contrary to recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security.
A green card, a document issued by the Department of Homeland Security allowing a person born outside the country to reside and work in the United States, serves as proof that its holder is a permanent resident and often is a step en route to obtaining US citizenship.
“We didn’t overrule the Department of Homeland Security, as far as green card holders moving forward, it doesn’t affect them,” Priebus told NBC.
Regarding the impact of Trump’s executive order on US citizens, he added: “I would suspect that if you’re an American citizen traveling back and forth to Libya you’re likely to be subjected to further questioning when you come into an airport,” he said.
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Priebus also suggested that the current ban — affecting travelers from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — could be expanded eventually.
“Perhaps other countries needed to be added to an executive order going forward – but in order to do this in a way that was expeditious, in a way that would pass muster quickly, we used the seven countries” already targeted.
A federal judge late yesterday issued an emergency stay on parts of Trump’s executive order, but the Department of Homeland Security and the White House today insisted that the order remains in force.