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DHS Inspector General: Trump Admin. Delaying Release of Travel Ban Report

DHS Inspector General: Trump Admin. Delaying Release of Travel Ban Report
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 November 2017 09:32 AM

Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth said the Trump administration is unjustifiably delaying the public release of a report that criticizes the department after President Donald Trump issued his first travel ban executive order, Politico reported on Tuesday.

Trump signed an executive order soon after entering the White House in January temporarily banning entry to the United States by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, as well as refugees, according to the Chicago Tribune.

This led to confusion at airports, where immigration agents were unsure how to enforce the order and passengers were unclear whether they could enter the country.

The report found that Customs and Border Protection senior managers were "caught by surprise" by the order and that agency officials "violated two court orders" limiting its implementation, according to a letter sent to congressmen, obtained by Politico.

The report's criticisms sharply contrast with the White House description of the order in January that "it really is a massive success story in terms of implementation on every single level."

Roth told the congressmen that he sent the report to the Department of Homeland Security leadership on Oct. 6, but that officials there had still refused to authorize its public release.

Roth rejected their explanation that the report is under review for information that may be subject to attorney-client privilege or to a privilege protecting the agency's "deliberative process," saying "this is the first time in my tenure as inspector general that the department has indicated that they may assert this privilege in connection with one of our reports or considered preventing the release of a report on that basis."

The department, however, defended its handling of the travel ban and of the report, saying "material within the report is covered by privileges afforded by well-recognized law. This should come as no surprise as many of the activities in implementing the executive order were conducted amidst a large number of lawsuits and, later, court orders that shaped the department's response."

Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin reacted to the delay in releasing the report.

"It's disappointing that the DHS Inspector General found that CBP violated two separate federal court orders during the chaotic implementation of this ill-conceived executive order, but it is frankly unacceptable that the Trump Administration now appears to be hiding that information not just from Congress, but from the public as well," they said.

The senators also warned that there would be repercussions in Congress if the administration continues to bury the report.

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Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth said the Trump administration is unjustifiably delaying the public release of a report that criticizes the department after President Donald Trump issued his first travel ban executive order...
homeland security, trump, report, travel ban
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2017-32-21
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 09:32 AM
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