President Trump’s recent executive order on travel was necessary, according to officials in his administration, because of the “porous” nature of the process as it currently exists. The administration felt that it was impossible to rectify the errors within the current system in less than 120 days, the length of the temporary ban. Furthermore, officials felt that they had to act immediately or face the very real possibility of terrorist organizations moving quickly to place operatives here in the U.S. in anticipation of a later strengthening of immigration controls. They had to weigh that against the inconvenience of a small number of persons that are currently outside the country but hold U.S. Green Card status from one of the 7 effected countries. The exact number that will be impacted is unknown, but U.S. officials have said that they will consider each situation on a “case by case” basis.
Despite all of the hand-wringing and whining, it appears that the number of protestors most likely exceed the numbers of persons most inconvenienced in the short term: Green Card holders from one of the 7 countries that are currently outside the U.S. Despite the small number, one would hope that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would move forward with all haste to clear those individuals for safe passage back to the U.S. on an individual basis. Those persons are not just statistical numbers, but people that have jobs and families that can’t be put on hold indefinitely. The consequences can be devastating, especially financially.
What is also important to note is the persons that are NOT effected by this action: Namely, persons from the 7 listed countries that are U.S. Citizens, even if they hold dual citizenship. This was confused earlier when it was announced persons from the 7 effected countries would be impacted even if they were dual-citizens of another country, for example Iranian and Canadian.
This has been, and will continue to be a messy process until the finer points are hammered out. Most of the bigger details already exist under current U.S. rules. For example, the 7 countries mentioned are already delineated by the prior administration as being supporters of state sponsored terrorism – this is NOT newly created under the Trump administration. The difference here is in the actual application of existing law as well as whatever new vetting rules will be enacted, presumably within the 4 month window of the temporary travel restrictions.
For clearer details, I would recommend this piece from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/01/trump-immigration-order-muslims/514844/
UPDATE: The White House reiterated that the travel ban does NOT include Green Card holders. Furthermore, it also verified what we suspected – that the 7 countries were chosen because they had already been identified by Congress. More countries may be added to the list moving forward.