Following news reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel implementing Executive Order#13769 (EO) “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”(January 27, 2017) potentially violated the civil rights of individual travelers, we received a congressional request to investigate DHS’s implementation of the EO. In response, we investigated how DHS and CBP, the DHS entity primarily responsible for implementation of the EO, responded to challenges presented by the EO, including the consequence of court orders and CBP’s compliance with them. In our investigation, we found that CBP was caught by surprise when the President issued the EO on January 27, 2017. DHS had little opportunity to prepare for and respond to basic questions about which categories of travelers were affected by the EO. We found that the bulk of travelers affected by the EO who arrived in the United States, particularly LPRs, received national interest waivers. In addition, we observed that the lack of a public or congressional relations strategy significantly hampered CBP and harmed its public image.
DHS Implementation of Executive Order #13769 "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" (January 27, 2017) (Redacted)