The U.S. government allowed 872 refugees to enter the country this week despite President Trump's exeuctive order temporarily preventing all refugees from entering the country, Reuters reports.
An anonymous Homeland Security official confirmed the document was correct and the refugees had already been cleared for resettlement before the ban took effect. The document did not say where the refugees were from.
This news broke amidst Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly's briefing on the controversial travel ban. Kelly doubled down on the order and said he would enforce it "humanely."
Kelly reiterated that the order was not a "Muslim ban" but a temporary measure for security purposes, and that his agency knew it was coming despite reports that it caught DHS off guard.
Kelly said his agency knew Trump's executive order was coming and was involved in its formation. The confusion that resulted from the implementation of the ban led many to believe DHS was not prepared for the order.
The New York Times reported DHS officials watched Trump sign the order on live TV as they were discussing it.
WATCH | Here's an excerpt from the briefing.
Kelly insisted that the order was not a ban on Muslims.
Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said his agency would respond "immediately" to court orders. Multiple federal courts struck down part of the travel ban over the weekend.
Thomas Homan, acting head of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, also spoke at the briefing, saying he would "execute the mission" laid out for him by Trump. Homan took the top post at ICE late Monday after his superior was ousted.