It’s not a travel ban

“It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s not a travel ban,” Spicer told reporters. “It’s a vetting system to keep America safe.”

Press briefing by Sean Spicer, 1/31/2017 reported in The Hill

Truth:  As widely reported and neatly summarized in The Hill:

The order bars from people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya from traveling to the U.S. for at least 90 days. It also suspends refugee admissions from all countries for four months and indefinitely blocks Syrian refugees from entering the country.”

The president also used the term (“ban”) Saturday when he said he would stick by his new policy despite widespread outcry from critics.

“We’re going to have a very, very strict ban and we’re going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years,” he said.

Only 109 people were detained

Truth: “A senior Department of Homeland Security official said Saturday that in the first 23 hours the order was in effect, 375 people had been detained on arrival in the U.S., prevented from boarding flights at their point of departure or intercepted while en route to the U.S.”  These figures do not take into account any actions taken on Sunday against travelers.  It also is not related to the Delta computer issue to which Trump referred.

“Donald Trump’s Immigration Order Sparks Confusion, Despair at Airports” – Wall Street Journal (paywall) 1/29/2017

UPDATE:  The US Department of Justice has since indicated that tens of thousands of visas were revoked.

Immigration Order similar to Obama policy

“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”

Trump Statement regarding Executive Order via

Truth:  As pointed out by Jon Finer in Foreign Policy, the action Trump refers to from 2011 only applied to Iraq refugees and applicants for Special Immigrant Visas.  Also, Obama couldn’t have “banned visas for refugees” because refugees do not travel on visas.

Obama’s action was a response to a specific threat posed by 2 Iraqi refugees in Kentucky. The resulting enhancement of vetting for certain Iraqis was never a ban and refugees continued to arrive and be admitted from Iraq during the 6 month period. Oh, by the way, the policy was coherent and rolled out after careful review to ensure smooth implementation unlike Trump’s executive order.

— Foreign Policy