Florida Lawmakers React To Trump’s Travel Ban
From U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL):
“After reviewing the recent Executive Orders, it is clear to us that some of what is being said and reported about the scope and implications of these measures is misleading. However, it is also clear that the manner in which these measures were crafted and implemented have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the last few days.
We generally support additional vetting for many of those entering our country from nations where the United States has identified there are serious concerns regarding terrorist activities and planning. But given the broad scope and nature of these policy changes, we have some unanswered questions and concerns.
We are seeking clarity on the changes to the Visa Waiver program, which is critical to the economies of our respective states. And we are uneasy about the potential impact of these measures on our military and our diplomatic personnel abroad, as well as those who put their lives on the line to work with us.
We are both committed to doing what we must to keep America safe. We are equally committed to the defense of religious liberty and our tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution. Like so many Americans, we are both guided by our belief that when we stand before our Creator to face judgment, He will say that “to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
That is why we intend to do all we can to both keep America safe, and keep America special.”
From U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL):
“We have to do everything we can to protect ourselves from those who want to do us harm, but a hastily-issued policy that bans everyone from one of these seven countries from entering the U.S. – including the Iraqi interpreters who served alongside our troops in Iraq – is not the answer.”
From U.S. Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) from the 6th District:
“Defending the American people against the threat of radical Islamic terrorism is a central responsibility of the federal government and it is clear that our national policies need to be reformed to better discharge this duty. Recently, we have seen terrorist attacks perpetrated by refugees from Somalia (at Ohio State and in St. Cloud, MN, respectively) and witnessed the conviction of an Iraqi refugee, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, for attempting to bomb shopping malls in Houston, TX.
It is incumbent upon the federal government to undertake adequate vetting so that those who seek to do Americans harm are not permitted to enter the United States, especially when foreigners seek to come to the United States from nations that sponsor terrorism or are hotbeds of Islamic radicalism. President Trump is right to be concerned about this and I hope that, during the 90 day period outlined in the President’s executive order, the administration develops policies that will better protect the American people from this potent threat.”
From U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) from the 7th District:
“I strongly oppose the President’s executive orders on refugees, which violate fundamental American values and undermine our national security. We must work in a bipartisan manner to strengthen our refugee policy in a way that keeps us secure AND upholds our values.”
From U.S Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) from the 8th District:
“Allowing unvetted immigration into the United States when we have been told there will be terrorists among them is risky and dangerous. I have supported pausing our refugee and immigration programs from nations that we know pose a serious national security threat and implementing 9/11 Commission recommendations, such as putting in place a reliable entry/exit system. In the past, presidents have rightly initiated similar travel restrictions. Our first responsibility is to protect the homeland, and we must do all we can to guard against terrorist threats to our nation.”
From U.S Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL) from the 9th District:
“This executive order is unnecessary, unconstitutional and un-American. Federal courts across the nation agree and have already begun to declare it unlawful. (Congressman Soto) will do everything in his power under the law as a US representative to fight what is in effect as a Muslim ban.”
From U.S. Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL) from the 10th District:
“We are hearing stories from around the nation and the world, stories of children, families, and students who are unlawfully being detained or denied the right they earned to enter the United States. It is unconstitutional and offensive.
“We must call this executive order what it is, discrimination.
“To deny refugees, who have gone through extreme vetting, the right to seek refuge and prosper in the greatest country in the world, goes against the values this nation was built on.
“Our community sent a message to President Trump and his administration today that we stand united together, ready to fight his extreme agenda.”
From U.S. Congressman Daniel Webster (R-FL) from the 11th District:
“President Trump made it clear on the campaign that this was a priority. I am thankful to see President Trump is taking his responsibility to protect our country seriously and putting Americans’ safety first. I agree with the President that prior to issuing visas or refugee admissions, we must ensure our vetting process is thorough. President Obama acted similarly when he paused the processing of Iraqi refugee visas for six months in 2011.
“I look forward to working with President Trump, his administration and my colleagues in Congress to establish clearly defined improvements to our visa issuance and refugee admissions process. I am confident we can protect our homeland while remaining the compassionate nation we are to those who are tired, poor, yearning to breathe free or seeking refuge from persecution.”
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