Amid complaints from Congressional Democrats that federal agents were not complying with court orders regarding President Donald Trump’s executive order barring people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from traveling to the United States, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement on Sunday noting that it was following the court orders.
“Upon issuance of the court orders yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immediately began taking steps to comply with the orders. Concurrently, the Department of Homeland Security continues to work with our partners in the Departments of Justice and State to implement President Trump’s executive order on protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States,” the statement from DHS reads. “We are committed to ensuring that all individuals affected by the executive orders, including those affected by the court orders, are being provided all rights afforded under the law.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general on Sunday night, calling for an investigation into conduct of DHS and Custom and Border Protection agents, the Huffington Post reported. The senators said some federal agents failed to comply with court orders temporarily allowing those with visas who arrived in the U.S. to enter the country, according to the Huffington Post.
“The United States Constitution means little if law enforcement agents disregard it, or if Americans are unwilling to defend its principles and respect foundational constitutional rights, from due process to equal protection under the law,” Duckworth and Durbin wrote in the letter, per the Huffington Post.
Four Democratic members of Congress also wrote a letter to Kelly on Sunday, demanding a meeting with the DHS secretary, Politico reported. In the letter, the members complained that federal agents were not following court orders allowing visitors from the seven countries impacted by Trump’s order to access legal counsel, per Politico.
In its Sunday statement, the Department of Homeland Security said that it was also working with airlines to prevent those who are banned from entering the U.S. from getting on planes abroad.
“We are also working closely with airline partners to prevent travelers who would not be granted entry under the executive orders from boarding international flights to the U.S. Therefore, we do not anticipate that further individuals traveling by air to the United States will be affected,” the statement reads. “We are and will remain in compliance with judicial orders. We are and will continue to enforce President Trump’s executive order humanely and with professionalism. DHS will continue to protect the homeland.”