White House predicts smooth rollout of travel ban

White House predicts smooth rollout of travel ban
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The White House is expecting “business as usual” when federal agencies begin implementing President Trump’s temporary travel ban Thursday at 8 p.m.

Officials are predicting a smooth rollout of the controversial policy because they said they worked with all the relevant agencies and stakeholders to provide clear guidance on the new travel restrictions, and because the ban will only apply to new visa applicants.

“We expect business as usual at the ports of entry starting at 8 p.m. tonight,” senior officials said during a press call on Thursday. “We expect things to run smoothly, and our people are well-prepared for this and they will handle the entry of people with visas professionally, respectfully and responsibly.”

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The Supreme Court said Monday that parts of Trump’s executive order, which had been put on ice by the lower courts, can be reinstated for travelers from six majority Muslim nations and refugees who do not have a “bona fide” relationship with a person or entity in the U.S.

The administration has been eager to avoid the confusion that dogged the first rollout of the travel ban earlier this year.

Trump’s initial order went into effect immediately and without advance notice, sparking widespread chaos and protests at airports around the country. Some travelers and legal U.S. residents who were caught in transit when the executive order was signed were detained upon entering the country.

This time around, agencies have had 72 hours to prepare for the changes and have issued advance guidance on how they plan to implement the new policy under the Supreme Court criteria.

The administration also plans to push out clear public guidance for travelers who may be impacted by the ban and have worked with overseas partners on the issue.

Officials emphasized that current valid visa holders, and any refugees booked for travel through July 6 will still be allowed to enter the country, which is why the administration is not anticipating a major travel disruption at airports or other ports of entry.

“There have been reports of people who have already indicated that they would like to be there to either cause chaos or to protest. Lawyers have indicated they would like to be at the ports of entry to assist people,” officials said.

“That is okay — as long as they are in the public area of the airports, that is completely their business, as long as they abide by the guidance from the airport authorities.”

“It will be business as usual for us,” they added.