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The Trump Administration’s Incompetence Is Exceeded Only By Its Malevolence, And Vice Versa

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C3Pkt64UEAQ_U98[Cartoon by Pat Bagley]

To pick up on Dave’s theme below, it’s great that major public policy is now being implemented by a cross between George Wallace and Michael Brown:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Department of Homeland Security leadership saw the final details shortly before the order was finalized, government officials said.

Friday night, DHS arrived at the legal interpretation that the executive order restrictions applying to seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen — did not apply to people who with lawful permanent residence, generally referred to as green card holders.

The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout. That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Their decision held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card holders to enter the US.
There had been some debate whether green card holders should be even allowed to board international flights.

It was decided by the Department of Homeland Security they could fly to the US and would be considered on a case-by-case basis after passing a secondary screening.

But the guidance sent to airlines on Friday night, obtained by CNN, said clearly, “lawful permanent residents are not included and may continue to travel to the USA.”

As of Saturday afternoon, Customs and Border Protection continued to issue the same guidance to airlines as it did Friday, telling airlines that fly to the US that green card holders can board planes to the US but they may get extra scrutiny on arrival, according to an airline official.

Before the President issued the order, the White House did not seek the legal guidance of the Office of Legal Counsel, the Justice Department office that interprets the law for the executive branch. A source said the executive order did not follow the standard agency review process that’s typically overseen by the National Security Council, though the source couldn’t specifically say if that included the decision to not have the order go through the Office of Legal Counsel.

Ben Wittes has much more. Trump’s ineptitude makes this racist order more legally vulnerable as well as less popular, not that this is much consolation.

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