Trump fires top officials amid controversy on migration law

RSTV Bureau
File photo: President Donald Trump signs an executive order in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan 23, 2017. Photo - PTI/AP

File photo: President Donald Trump signs an executive order in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Jan 23, 2017.
Photo – PTI/AP

In a flurry of developments, US President Donald Trump has fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates and acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Daniel Ragsdale amid controversy surrounding his executive order on immigration. Dana Boente is appointed as the new Acting Attorney General by the White house till its nominee senator Jeff Sessions is confirmed by the US Senate.

Trump administration alleged Yates of “betraying” the Department of Justice after she refused to defend his executive order that denies entry to all refugees as well as citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.

“(Yates) has betrayed the Department of Justice,” the White House statement said.

The dramatic move came soon after Yates had told Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.

“At present, I am not convinced that the defence of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful,” Yates wrote in a letter to Justice Department lawyers.

Defending its move, the White House said, “Ms Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”

“It is time to get serious about protecting our country. Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country,” it said.

Trump’s executive order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely suspends the Syrian refugee program.

In another move, acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Daniel Ragsdale was also sacked by the Trump administration.

The Homeland Security Secretary Gen (rtd) John Kelly said the US President Donald Trump has appointed Thomas D Homan as acting ICE director.

“I am confident that he will continue to serve as a strong, effective leader for the men and women of ICE. I look forward to working alongside him to ensure that we enforce our immigration laws in the interior of the United States consistent with the national interest,” Kelly said.

(With inputs from the Agencies)