Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly declared “the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest” in a Sunday evening statement.
“Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent residence status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.
DHS Sec Kelly on President's immigration exec order:"I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest." pic.twitter.com/AscXezeJag— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) January 29, 2017
The statement came on the second day of protests against President Trump's executive order to temporarily halt a federal program admitting refugees, and imposing a 90-day ban on the entry of nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
In the hours after the order was signed, green hard holders from the seven countries were initially denied entry into the U.S.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Sunday that those with green cards would be allowed to come into the United States, though he also said if a person is traveling back and forth to one of the seven countries, that person is likely to be "subjected temporarily with more questioning until a better program is put in place."
A federal judge in New York on Saturday night granted an emergency stay, temporarily halting the removal of people detained following Trump's order.
It was the first successful legal challenge to the Trump administration and affects those who have arrived in the U.S. with previously approved refugee applications or were in transit with valid visas. Similar rulings were later issued in Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington state.