By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, President Donald J Trump issued new executive orders om immigration making it harder for some foreign nationals to enter the US. Especially hard hit were Syrian refugees which President Obama had been resettling in the United States. Trump halted the resettlement of Syrian refugees for the next six months. Reactions to the order was mixed.
US Representative Terry Sewell (D-Selma) said on social media, “All Americans, regardless of religion, should be offended by Trump’s executive action to ban the entry of individuals based on religion and nationality. Remember the words of Dr. King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” He is targeting Muslims today. Who will he target tomorrow?”
US Bradley Byrne (R from Montrose) was supportive of the order. Congressman Byrne said, “For over a year now, I have warned about the serious flaws in many of our nation’s immigration programs, especially the refugee program. I appreciate President Trump’s efforts to address these issues as he works to keep the American people safe. While there have been some issues with the order’s implementation, I look forward to working with the Trump Administration to make sure their efforts to protect the American people succeed in a timely and effective manner.”
US Senator John McCain (R from Arizona) was sharply critical. Sen. McCain said in a statement, “Our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation.
It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted. We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security.”
Sen. McCain said, “Such a hasty process risks harmful results. We should not stop green-card holders from returning to the country they call home. We should not stop those who have served as interpreters for our military and diplomats from seeking refuge in the country they risked their lives to help. And we should not turn our backs on those refugees who have been shown through extensive vetting to pose no demonstrable threat to our nation, and who have suffered unspeakable horrors, most of them women and children.”
Sen. McCain concluded, “Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism. At this very moment, American troops are fighting side-by-side with our Iraqi partners to defeat ISIL. But this executive order bans Iraqi pilots from coming to military bases in Arizona to fight our common enemies. Our most important allies in the fight against ISIL are the vast majority of Muslims who reject its apocalyptic ideology of hatred. This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”
Late on Saturday, two federal temporarily blocking deportations of those detained at US airports who were traveling from the seven majority-Muslim countries covered by the directive. In New York, Judge Ann Donnelly of the US District Court in Brooklyn granted a request from the American Civil Liberties Union to stay deportations nationwide. Judge Leonie Brinkema in Virginia issued a seven-day block on sending back green-card holders detained at Dulles International Airport.
On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump responded on social media, “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, Now. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed our, the world – a horrible mess!”
Critics said that the sudden order created chaos in airports across the globe. Trump denied this saying, “It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over.”
Two Iraqi nationals with ties to the US military filed a lawsuit after they were detained upon their arrival Friday night in New York. Both men had been granted visas to enter the US. Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who worked as an interpreter for the US military, was released from custody early Saturday.
President Trump’s order bans Syrian refugees from coming to the US indefinitely and halts the country’s refugee resettlement program for four months. Trump also denies entry for 90 days to individuals from: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. Iran has retaliated by banning travelers with US passports from entering it’s country.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated those nations as “countries of concern” for terrorism. The order directs DHS to determine which other nations do not provide appropriate information about its citizens, and therefore could be added to the list.
Sunday, January 29, 2017 the Office of the Press Secretary state that, The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people. President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place—prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the US government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety. President Trump’s Executive Order affects a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America’s borders and national security.
Approximately 80 million international travelers enter the United States every year. Yesterday, less than one percent of the more than 325,000 international air travelers who arrive every day were inconvenienced while enhanced security measures were implemented. These individuals went through enhanced security screenings and are being processed for entry to the United States, consistent with our immigration laws and judicial orders.”
The statement from the White House continued, “The Department of Homeland Security will faithfully execute the immigration laws, and we will treat all of those we encounter humanely and with professionalism. No foreign national in a foreign land, without ties to the United States, has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States or to demand immigration benefits in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement President Trump’s Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people.”
A number of press reports are claiming that senior officials at the departments of Homeland Security, State and Justice were unaware of any of these changes before President Trump issued the orders on Friday, effective immediately.
(Original reporting by The Hill, the GOP Insider and Fox News contributed to this report)