President Donald Trump said his government will act anew on immigration next week, after a federal appeals court decided not to reinstate his ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
"We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country; you’ll be seeing that sometime next week," Trump said at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday. He offered no specifics.
The president's tone was somewhat less defiant than in the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s 26-page ruling from a three-judge panel, when he tweeted that the decision was "disgraceful" and vowed to press on with legal efforts to reinstate the travel ban.
"We are going to keep our country safe," he said on Friday. "We are going to do whatever’s necessary to keep our country safe."
He said his administration would also continue to fight for the travel ban in courts, and that "ultimately, I have no doubt we will win that particular case."
The executive order, issued late last month, bars citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, from entering the U.S. for the next three months in what the White House says is an effort to combat terrorism.
Green card holders from those countries are allowed to re-enter the country, but are subject to so-called "extreme vetting" procedures.
The Trump administration argued that states had no right to sue to block the immigration order, and said courts have no authority to review an executive branch decision on immigration policy.
But the panel of three judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco rejected those arguments, saying that the “federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action.” Moreover, the panel found, the administration had shown “no evidence” that individuals from those seven nations had committed terrorist acts.
The Trump administration could appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but reversing the ruling would require a five-vote majority among the eight current members. If the high court fails to intervene, the case would return to U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle.
The Trump administration may consider issuing a new executive order that explicitly omits green-card holders from the travel ban in an effort to head off legal challenges.
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