When President Donald Trump declared at the Pentagon Friday he was enacting strict new measures to prevent domestic terror attacks, there were few within his government who knew exactly what he meant. According to CNN, Administration officials weren’t immediately sure which countries’ citizens would be barred from entering the United States. The Department of Homeland Security was left making a legal analysis on the order after Trump signed it. A Border Patrol agent, confronted with arriving refugees, referred questions only to the President himself, according to court filings.
Saturday night, a federal judge granted an emergency stay for citizens of the affected countries who had already arrived in the US and those who are in transit and hold valid visas, ruling they can legally enter the US. Trump’s unilateral moves, which have drawn the ire of human rights groups and prompted protests at US airports, reflect the President’s desire to quickly make good on his campaign promises. But they also encapsulate the pitfalls of an administration largely operated by officials with scant federal experience. It wasn’t until Friday, the day Trump signed the order banning travel from seven Muslim, majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days, that career homeland security staff were allowed to see the final details of the order, a person familiar with the matter said.