Following nationwide protests of President Donald Trump’s latest executive order issuing a travel ban, U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., are calling for an independent investigation into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
In a letter addressed to DHS Inspector General John Roth, Duckworth and Durbin requested an investigation into how the executive order was implemented. The order, signed by Trump on Friday, prompted deportations of citizens and refugees from seven countries including Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.
Federal judges in New York and Virginia signed court orders by late Saturday night to temporarily block the deportations and allow those detained at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia to have access to attorneys. Copies of the letter were obtained by WAND and The Huffington Post.
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“The chaotic execution of this EO by DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel raises serious concerns in regard to whether taxpayer dollars were efficiently spent, rather than wasted on unwarranted and unjust detention of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and others who posed no security threat, and who had already been authorized by the United States Government to enter our country,” the letter stated.
Duckworth and Durbin said in the letter that they were “particularly alarmed” that CPB officers at Dulles allegedly failed to comply with part of a judge’s order.
“The United States Constitution means little if law enforcement agents disregard it or if Americans are unwilling to defend its principles,” Duckworth said on Facebook and Twitter. Tonight, Sen. Dick Durbin and I are calling for an immediate and independent investigation into U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s potentially illegal implementation of President Trump’s executive order that resulted in legal permanent U.S. residents being detained at airports across the country this weekend.”
DHS had responded to the court orders in a series of tweets Sunday, saying it would comply, “faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement @POTUS Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the U.S. do not pose a threat to our country or the American people.” The agency also said the president’s executive order affected “a minor portion” of people traveling internationally.
“The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of the president’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people. The president’s Executive Orders remain in place — prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety,” DHS said in a statement. “The president’s Executive Order affected a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America’s borders and national security.”