- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

President Trump reset the clock on his extreme vetting policies Wednesday, saying that he will follow through on his full 90-day halt to admissions from six majority-Muslim countries and a 120-day pause in refugee admissions once the courts lift their blockades.

In the meantime, he said, the government will continue to issue travel visas and to accept all previously issued visas as long as they remain valid.

The move settled a technical legal dispute that has broken out in recent days.

Opponents of Mr. Trump’s travel ban said that the 90-day halt on entry from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen was supposed to begin March 16, which means it would expire this month.

But some analysts had said that since the start date was delayed, the 90-day clock never tolled.

Mr. Trump officially adopted that stance Wednesday in a memo for the Justice, State and Homeland Security departments and the intelligence services.

“I hereby direct the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence to jointly begin implementation of each relevant provision of sections 2 and 6 of the Executive Order 72 hours after all applicable injunctions are lifted or stayed with respect to that provision, to ensure an orderly and proper implementation of those provisions,” the president said in the memo.

Two federal appeals courts have upheld injunctions on the major parts of Mr. Trump’s travel ban policy.

The Justice Department is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the policy. The opposing sides currently are exchanging legal fire in briefing papers with the high court.

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