WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he might give his refugee and immigration travel ban a second try — either as a revision or as a new order — as he contends with an appeals court ruling that prevents the ban from being enforced.
Trump said Friday he expected to win the legal battle over his original directive even though options were being considered by the White House. Advisers were debating the next step in response to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld a restraining order on the travel ban.
On Saturday morning, the president again tweeted about the issue.
“Our legal system is broken! ‘77% of refugees allowed into U.S. since travel reprieve hail from seven suspect countries.’ (WT) SO DANGEROUS!” Trump wrote.
The White House directive had suspended the nation’s refugee program and barred all entries from seven Muslim-majority countries. The Trump administration has said the seven nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — have raised terrorism concerns.
A White House official initially suggested the administration would not ask the Supreme Court to overturn the restraining order on the ban. But chief of staff Reince Priebus scrambled to clarify to reporters that “every single court option is on the table,” including a high court appeal or “fighting out this case on the merits” in a lower court.
Trump’s executive order was hastily unveiled at the end of his first week in office. While the White House boasted that Trump was fulfilling a campaign promise to toughen vetting procedures for people coming from countries with terror ties, the order caused chaos at airports in the U.S. and sparked protests across the country.
The president has cast the order as crucial for national security. Earlier Friday, he promised to take action “very rapidly” to protect the U.S. and its citizens in the wake of the appeals court decision, but he did not specify what steps he planned to take.
“We’ll be doing things to continue to make our country safe,” Trump pledged at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “It will happen rapidly. We will not allow people into our country who are looking to do harm to our people.”
In his Saturday morning tweets, Trump also asserted his proposed “border wall” with Mexico will not cost as much as the public is being led to believe.
“I am reading that the great border WALL will cost more than the government originally thought, but I have not gotten involved in the . . . design or negotiations yet,” Trump wrote. “When I do, just like with the F-35 FighterJet or the Air Force One Program, price will come WAY DOWN!”
Colvin reported from Palm Beach, Florida. Associated Press writers Ken Thomas and Darlene Superville contributed to this report. Sun-Times staff contributed to this report.