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National Govt & Politics
Thousands of travel visas canceled under Trump immigration order
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Thousands of travel visas canceled under Trump immigration order

Thousands of travel visas canceled under Trump immigration order
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

Thousands of travel visas canceled under Trump immigration order

Federal officials said Friday that tens of thousands of travel visas have been canceled by the U.S. Government in the week since President Trump signed a controversial immigration order that limited refugee admissions and visitors from seven specific countries, as the White House again dismissed criticism of the plan, arguing it is central to protecting the U.S. from terrorist attack.

The State Department told reporters that fewer than 60,000 visas were canceled, while a Justice Department lawyer in a federal courtroom told a judge that about 100,000 visas had been revoked.

At the White House, Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not have a firm figure to offer, but strongly defended the goal of the Trump Administration.

"I will be very clear that this President's commitment to rooting out radical Islamic terrorism is something that is at the forefront of his agenda," Spicer said at the White House.

Earlier in the week, the White House had argued that only 109 people had been slowed down by the immigration order, but that number seems to be much larger.

Mr. Trump's order bans travel to the United States for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.

In a federal court in Virginia, Judge Leonie Brinkema extended her temporary order from a week ago, which prohibited federal immigration officials from deporting any lawful permanent residents arriving at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.

Jamie Dupree
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Jamie Dupree

Judge Brinkema also ordered the Trump Administration to give the state of Virginia the names of those who had a lawful reason to be there - but were "denied entry or removed" because of the President's immigration order.

Meanwhile, the White House has quietly tweaked the contents of that original Executive Order, making clear that "Lawful Permanent Residents" - those who hold Green Cards - should not be subjected to additional screening upon arrival.

A federal judge in Michigan on Friday moved to put some additional legal weight behind that change, telling the Trump Administration that Green Card holders cannot be deported under the Trump plan.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

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Washington Insider

  • As President Donald Trump on Monday intensified his criticism of a group of more liberal Democratic women lawmakers in Congress, Democrats announced they would bring a resolution to the House floor this week to condemn the President's weekend tweets, in which he said the group of minority women members should 'go back' to the countries they 'originally came from.' 'The House cannot allow the President’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand,' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a letter to fellow Democrats.  'Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the President’s xenophobic tweets,' Pelosi added. At the White House, the President stood by his criticism. “If you're not happy here, then you can leave,” Mr. Trump told reporters. The Speaker's announcement came as a handful of GOP lawmakers publicly criticized President Trump's tweets, which targeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). 'Those tweets are racist and xenophobic,' Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) said on CNN. 'President Trump was wrong to suggest that four left-wing congresswomen should go back to where they came from,' said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) in a written statement. 'I urge our President immediately disavow his comments,' said Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX). 'Frankly I’m appalled by the President's tweets,' said Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). 'There’s no excuse.' Returning to Capitol Hill for the legislative work week, Democrats were furious. 'Donald Trump's bigoted attacks over the weekend were intended to divide this country,' said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). 'Another vile, racist attack from the President,' said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). But none of that slowed Mr. Trump. “These are people that hate our country,” the President said, as a crowd outside the White House cheered his comments. One Democrat, Rep. Al Green of Texas, announced that he would file articles of impeachment against the President - based just on his weekend tweets.  “I will again, this month, bring impeachment to a vote on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for bigotry in policy, harmful to our society,” Green said.