The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security announced late Wednesday night that his office had started an internal review of President Trump’s recent executive order which suspended refugee admissions into the United States, the first direct investigation of the immigration changes that prompted several days of protests at major airports, and controversy in the Congress.
“The review is being initiated in response to congressional request and whistleblower and hotline complaints,” said John Roth, the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security.
Along with looking at the basic implementation of the Executive Order, a statement from Roth’s office said the review would check the “adherence to court orders and allegations of individual misconduct on the part of DHS personnel.”
The IG’s reference to court orders and possible misconduct dovetail with complaints from members of Congress, civil liberties groups, and individual lawyers, many of whom claimed that they have not been allowed to see people detained at major airports in the U.S. – especially at Dulles Airport, outside Washington, D.C.
A federal judge in Virginia has already ordered DHS to appear in court on February 10, amid questions of whether the feds were ignoring court orders with regards to travelers who arrived at Dulles.
Swatting aside most criticism, the White House has strongly stood by the immigration order.
“A Reuters poll found that 66 percent of Americans believe that the United States should limit the number of refugees into the country,” said Press Secretary Sean Spicer at Wednesday’s press briefing.
“And the safety of the American people and the security of the American homeland are the President’s top priorities, and most Americans agree with the steps that he’s taking to keep our country safe,” Spicer added.
The announcement of the review also came just hours after the Washington Post reported that the Trump Transition team had informed federal inspectors general in mid-January that they would be replaced; IG’s do not have limited tenure, and often stay on through a change in administration.