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Huge stakes for Trump immigration do-over

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President Donald Trump is preparing to seize on a second chance to make a first impression with the release this week of a new executive order temporarily halting travel from citizens of seven nations he says pose a high risk of terrorism. The order will form the second thrust of a new administration push to significantly overhaul the shape of the American immigration system, following the release of new memos Tuesday empowering state and local authorities to enforce laws that could eventually lead to mass deportations. It also marks an important moment for Trump’s vision of an expansive executive presidency as he contemplates other areas of sweeping policy action.

The significance of this new attempt — the language of which is expected as soon as Wednesday — is reflected in the participation of White House Counsel Don McGahn. McGahn’s office had only a cursory look at Trump’s original order, which was written by transition and policy staff. Significantly, Trump’s key political aide Stephen Miller has had much less to do with the second executive order, sources familiar with the matter said, and the Trump administration was communicating with Republicans on Capitol Hill about the legislation.

Trump’s initial attempt to install a travel ban — one of his fundamental campaign promises — was a disaster, halting the administration’s fast start in its tracks. The move temporarily blocking citizens of Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Libya from entering the US unleashed a weekend of chaos at the nation’s airports, after the hurriedly drafted and poorly implemented order caused confusion among border and customs officials about what it actually meant and which classes of travelers were included. His order was quickly halted by the federal courts in a first showdown between his strong-arm executive powers and the judiciary — leading Trump to belittle judges on Twitter.

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