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1/30/17

USA: Trump's executive order: Amateur hour at the White House? - by Anthony Zurcher

 For those who don't remember, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, President George W Bush publicly praised his emergency management head, Michael Brown, for doing a "heckuva job" with recovery efforts.

That comment was hung around the president's neck like an anvil, as flood waters swamped parts of New Orleans and the city descended into chaos. It started a public approval downward spiral that led to sweeping Democratic victories in the 2006 mid-term elections.

History will judge the long-term impact of Mr Trump's Friday afternoon immigration order, but his early praise for its implementation will not easily be forgotten.

"It's working out very nicely," Mr Trump said in a brief response to a question on Saturday afternoon. "You see it in the airports, you see it all over. It's working out very nicely, and we are going to have a very, very strict ban, and we are going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years."

On the ground at major US airports, things weren't going quite so nicely, however. Immigration officials were having a difficult time implementing Mr Trump's order after receiving conflicting instructions on who to bar from entry into the US - and what to do with them once they were held. And as the day progressed, and word spread of the detentions, crowds of protesters at international terminals grew from dozens to hundreds to thousands.

While on the campaign trail, it was easy for Mr Trump to roundly decry the US immigration system as broken and make a general call for bans and moratoriums. As president, however, his team has had to fill in the details - and it seems they faced some difficulty translating his pre-election rhetoric into policy.

Mr Trump's Friday afternoon executive order reportedly was crafted without consulting legal aides and enacted over the objection of homeland security officials, who balked at including permanent US residents in the ban.

Read more: Trump's executive order: Amateur hour at the White House? - BBC News

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