Two Prominent Republicans Lash Out At Trump’s Immigration Freeze

Two prominent Republican senators have issued a joint statement lashing out against Donald Trump‘s executive order which banned travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries for at least 90 days and suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.

John McCain and Lindsey Graham – who have both pursued the presidency in the past – said in a statement released on McCain’s website that the ban was “hasty” and “not properly vetted”. They argue that it hits people who should never have been covered, like green card holders and refugees who have been thoroughly vetted.

They also claim that this will enable terrorist recruitment and energise ISIS into securing more support in the countries included.
The full statement is below:
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. 

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.

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.

McCain was the Republican presidential candidate against Barack Obama back in 2008, and Graham was one of the challengers decimated by Trump during the primaries last year. Graham is one of the few candidates who has remained against the extremes of Trump’s program – most have fallen in line.

Both McCain and Graham have been advocates for immigration reform in the past, but not consistently. Though they have both backed bills which would support a path for citizenship, they have also backed efforts to build a Mexican border fence / wall and hasten deportations of those accused of being illegal immigrants.
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Getty Images / Pool.