U.S. President Donald Trump said late on February 10 that he is considering issuing a new executive order on immigration now that his original January 27 order has been suspended indefinitely by the courts.
Insisting that he has the law on his side, despite two defeats in U.S. courts in quick succession, Trump said security concerns necessitate a quicker response than legal channels now allow.
"The unfortunate part is that it takes time statutorily, but we will win that battle. We also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order," he said, adding that any action would not come before February 13.
The original order temporarily barring refugees from the United States as well as visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries was blocked by a U.S. district court on February 3, and an appeals court upheld that block on February 9.
"We need speed for reasons of security, so it very well could be" that issuing a new order is the best course to take, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Earlier, Trump told a news conference in Washington, "We'll be doing things to continue to make our country safe... It will happen rapidly. We will not allow people into our country who are looking to do harm to our people."
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said, "We're pursuing executive orders right now that we expect to be enacted soon that will further protect Americans from terrorism."
Trump suggested the new executive order could be a modified version of the original, "with very little changes in honor of the [appeals court] decision" suspending the order.
The White House could rewrite the order to explicitly exclude green-card holders, or permanent U.S. residents, a congressional aide told Reuters. Doing that could alleviate some concerns with the original order expressed by three San Francisco appeals court judges who unanimously agreed to keep blocking the order this week.
While the White House said it still is reviewing all its options for appealing the San Francisco court's ruling, including possibly raising it before the U.S. Supreme Court, an unidentified judge on the appeals court on February 10 requested that the court's 25 full-time judges vote on whether the ruling should be reheard before an 11-judge panel, Reuters reported.
A rehearing before a broader panel of the same appeals court that blocked the original Trump order is one of the options the White House has been considering.
With reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and Reuters