WASHINGTON, D.C. – In one of his last acts in his first week as President Donald Trump signed an executive order to block all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days, and all citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days.
That led to citizens of those countries being held in airports or sent back to those countries.
In reaction, there was a flurry of court filings and protests at airports in major cities across the country, including Denver, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, New York, Houston and Atlanta.
Some members of Congress have joined the protesters, while others have issued statements. Here’s what some of the Colorado delegation said about the order:
Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez: “I support strong security vetting for anyone who wishes to enter the United States, regardless of their faith, so a temporary halt on accepting new immigrants and refugees from certain countries that are known hotbeds for terrorism while we strengthen our screening procedures is a reasonable action. However, I am concerned about the impact that the President’s executive order is having on individuals who have visas or green cards. Individuals who have already been vetted and granted visas or permanent resident status should not be impacted by the executive order, and putting them under the umbrella of this order’s reach – no matter where they come from – will further damage an already-flawed immigration system.
“Last year, top national security advisors under the Obama Administration told Congress that they do not have the ability to verify the identities of refugees fleeing Syria for the United States. Until we have this ability, I do not think it is unreasonable to halt resettlement, however, the executive order needs to be clarified, as its impacts on law abiding visa and green card holders are unacceptable. We are a compassionate nation that continues to be built by immigrants, but unfortunately bad actors try to use our compassion to do harm. Government’s priority must be to keep Americans safe, and I believe that can be done while still maintaining a generous immigration system that ensures those who wish to harm Americans do not slip through the cracks.”
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.: “While I am supportive of strengthening our screening processes and securing our borders, a blanket travel ban goes too far. I also believe that lawful residents of the United States should be permitted to enter the country. I urge the administration to take the appropriate steps to fix this overly broad executive order.”
Sen. Michael Benne, D-Colo.: “The President’s executive order on refugees will harm, not enhance, our national security and marks a significant departure from our nation’s proud history of welcoming people in need of protection. To halt completely or to shape our refugee program by religious or ethnic preferences betrays the values that have made our country strong.
“Refugees are fleeing the same violence and extremism that threatens our nation’s security and are more thoroughly vetted than any other group of people entering the United States. In addition, targeting certain religions and groups will undermine our counterterrorism efforts by stoking anti-West sentiment among ISIS followers and other extremists.
“Instead, we should focus on addressing the security gaps in the Visa Waiver Program. We should implement a stronger strategy for countering ISIS propaganda in order to degrade its ability to radicalize and recruit. Finally, we should pass the 2013 immigration reform bill, which included measures to secure our borders and enhance interior enforcement. Addressing these vulnerabilities and investing in smart security solutions will help make us safer and remain true to our values.”