The Hill has reported that the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General has announced that there will be an investigation into how various agencies handled the implementation of President Trump’s executive order which banned immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The review, which was announced Wednesday, says that the review was initiated, “in response to congressional request and whistleblower and hotline complaints.”
The Intercept reports that the investigation came as a surprise to members of DHS despite the reported confusion over the ban’s implementation.
‘I think the OIG probe will demonstrate that there was a real sense of confusion over the weekend at DHS. I don’t think it will demonstrate any attempt to circumvent the circuit court rulings. There were, of course, numerous instances of individuals, including legal permanent residents being removed after the stay. But any orders to do this would have been given verbally either in person or over telephone. It is highly unlikely that any record of this would exist in written form.’
On Wednesday, the Inspector General ordered all DHS personnel to retain any documents that would be relevant to the upcoming investigation.
‘All agency personnel must preserve any document that contains information that is potentially relevant to OIG’s investigation, or that might reasonably lead to the discovery of relevant information relating to the implementation of this Executive Order. For the duration of this hold, any relevant information that is within your possession or control must be preserved in the exact form as it currently exists.’
This investigation comes at a bad time for the Trump administration, which is facing opposition from government officials over the ban. On Monday, acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired after she ordered the Justice Department to not defend Trump’s executive order.
On that same day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer spoke out against State Department officials who used the department’s dissent channel to file a formal complaint expressing their concerns with the order’s implementation and stated goals.
One of the issues that will be investigated in this review is whether or not any members of DHS or the Department of Customs and Border Protection violated a court order that granted an exemption to those travelers who hold valid green cards.
Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center said that the CPB had refused to comply with the court order and described recent days as “full of chaos.”
‘We continue to face [CBP]’s noncompliance and chaos frankly at every airport across the country. The last 48 hours have been really full of chaos, the sense of the federal government completely deciding to not comply with the Constitution and on top of that, to not provide guidance to its field with respect to arriving immigrants and refugees.
‘We are grappling with their all-out rejection — on the one hand saying that they started to comply but on the ground seeing something very, very different. The truth is that DHS’s messaging since this nationwide order continues to instill fear in communities and arriving immigrants and refugees.’
Once the investigation is complete, the full report will be handed over to DHS Secretary John Kelly.
Featured image via Getty Images.