Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Sunday issued a statement declaring that the executive order temporarily barring visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries will not apply to U.S. residents with green cards.
“In applying the provisions of the president’s executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest,” Kelly said in a statement. “Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.”
The statement follows chaos at U.S. airports over the weekend as people who had already obtained visas to enter the country were detained upon their arrival to the U.S. There was confusion over whether the order applied to those with green cards. Even Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, seemed unsure on Sunday.
He said that the travel ban would not be applied to green card holders “moving forward” during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” But asked if it impacted green card holders from the seven banned countries, Priebus then replied, “Well, of course it does.”
“If you’re traveling back and forth you’re going to be subjected to further screening,” he said.