The US secretary of homeland security has published a statement supporting the entry into the country of all green card-holding residents, an apparent walk-back of one provision in the president’s controversial executive order imposing a travel ban on people entering the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

John Kelly, President Donald Trump’s recently-confirmed pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, wrote in a press release:

In applying the provisions of the president’s executive order, I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest.

Accordingly, absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in our case-by-case determinations.

While the reference in Mr Kelly’s statement to “lawful permanent residents” appears to clear the entry of green card holders, it does not address the status of refugees with visas.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

Comments have not been enabled for this article.