US watchdog agency to review implementation of Trump travel ban

People protest against US President Donald Trump's policies in lower Manhattan on Feb 1, 2017.
People protest against US President Donald Trump's policies in lower Manhattan on Feb 1, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A watchdog agency at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it is planning to review how President Donald Trump's immigration executive order to temporarily suspend travel from seven majority-Muslim nations was implemented.

The review of Friday's order was being planned "in response to congressional request and whistleblower and hotline complaints," the DHS's Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The watchdog agency would also look at "DHS' adherence to court orders and allegations of individual misconduct on the part of DHS personnel," the statement said.

"If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review."

The order triggered widespread protests and caused confusion for travellers around the world.

It also spurred several legal challenges, in particular over the initial detention or barring from flights of legal permanent residents who hold US green cards.


The department does not comment on investigations by the Office of the Inspector General.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Tuesday that no member of the Homeland Security team knowingly or intentionally ignored a court order and that the department was in compliance with judicial orders on immigration.

In California, a federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday ruled that Trump's administration must allow immigrants with initial clearance for legal residency to enter the United States despite the ban.

Massachusetts, New York, Virginia and Washington state have also challenged the order.

The Trump administration has defended the order as critical to US national security.

On Sunday, the Homeland Security Department said green card holders would be allowed on US-bound planes and assessed upon arrival. The White House said on Wednesday it had issued updated guidance making clear green card holders would not need a waiver to enter the United States.

The OIG statement said it would provide a final report to Kelly, the US Congress and the public after its review but did not say how long the review would take.

Democratic members of the US House of Representatives planned a forum on Wednesday to discuss Trump's order on refugees and immigration order.

The Department of Homeland Security includes the Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies.