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White House delays issuing new travel order until next week

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 3:57 PM

The Trump Administration has again pushed back plans to release an updated version of an executive order that temporarily blocked all refugee admissions along with visits to the United States by residents of seven different Muslim-majority countries, as the White House again signaled it would keep fighting for the original order in court, even while releasing a new one.

A White House official told reporters on Wednesday that the new order would come out 'sometime next week' - twice already this month, President Trump has made that same assurance to reporters, but nothing has yet been issued.

The White House gave no real hints on what changes are being made, or why the review is taking so long to finish - but officials have said they don't think the new ban will be much different than the original one.

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"Nothing was wrong with the first executive order," said White House Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller on Fox News, as he blamed a "flawed judicial ruling" that has held up implementation of the order.

"It's still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country," Miller said in an interview, without really giving any details on how it would change.

Meanwhile, the lack of a new executive order is causing some heartburn in the courts, where the Justice Department is still making the case that the original order was constitutional.

In a filing Wednesday in a federal court here in Washington, the feds acknowledged that 'no firm date' has been set for when the new Trump policy will be unveiled.

Even before knowing what's in the new order, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have already signaled that they are ready to go back to court against the new order, especially with indications from the White House that the policy will be the same.

"So then we will have the same basic response," the ACLU said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the judge in Washington State who put the Trump immigration plan on hold has set out a schedule for legal battling over the merits of the order, with status reports and discovery deadlines already extending into late March, as the White House says that fight is not over.

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