McCaul to meet with Kelly to discuss travel ban

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul is meeting with Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Capitol Hill Thursday to discuss some potential tweaks to the Trump administration’s travel ban.

“As you know, (the executive order) was not executed very well and I think General Kelly is trying to fix some of the problems with the implementation,” the Texas Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

McCaul said he was pleased that the issue of those with green cards was clarified, but noted there is a remaining concern about “lawful visas and whether that would be waived.”

He said the executive order could be amended or the administration could issue a waiver based on national security to provide a mechanism to allow those with approved visas to enter the United States. He said he also expected to talk to Kelly on Thursday about plans to construct a border wall.

The chairman noted that Kelly and his staff moved to remedy the initial confusion about the order.

“I think it was sound policy. It was just implemented poorly, and that caused problems in the aftermath of the order by denying people, legal permanent residents or people with lawful visas from entering the country and I think that’s what’s causing a lot of the issues,” McCaul said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, however, expressed doubt over the administration’s ability to improve the travel ban.

“No carve-out, exemption or clarification can undo the extreme harm this executive order has already caused to thousands of innocent people or mitigate the damage it will do to our national security and America’s reputation around the globe,” Schumer said in a statement. “This executive order must be repealed.”

McCaul also invited Kelly to testify for the first time before his panel next Tuesday. He said it will be a general oversight hearing, but added, “Obviously, the executive order will come up.”

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