The Austrian-born actor and former California governor, 69, spoke out against the president’s executive order that temporarily bans citizens from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, saying the action “was vetted badly” and “makes us look stupid.”
“I think the real problem is that it was vetted badly,” Schwarzenegger said Monday in an interview with Extra‘s Mario Lopez. “If they would run this by the Justice Department and Homeland Security and had the lawyers really study and focus on it and give it some time to do it the right way.”
While Schwarzenegger said he understood the need to keep terrorists out of the country, he said there were better ways to go about it and Trump’s administration was “hasty” with the order, called the “Muslim ban” by Trump’s critics.
Schwarzenegger, who came to the U.S. in 1968 at age 21, went on to sympathize with those affected by the order.
“To go and ban people who have a green card, that means that the United States of America has given you permission to work here permanently and you are on the way to permanent citizenship… I was in that position,” Schwarzenegger said. “It’s crazy, it’s crazy and makes us look stupid when the White House is ill-prepared to put this kind of executive order out there.”
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Trump administration officials said on Sunday that green card holders and other legal permanent residents from the affected countries will be allowed into the United States.
Although the high-profile Republican, who has spoken out about Trump, says that he also made mistakes when he first took the office of governor, he hopes that this experience is a “wake-up call” for the White House.
“The laws that stick the longest are the ones when both parties work together,” he said.
Celebrities have spoken out against the immigration ban, many using the SAG Awards on Sunday as a platform to voice their opposition.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was among the first to address the issue while accepting the award for best actress in a comedy series on Sunday, saying, “I want you all to know that I am the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France, and I’m an American patriot and I love this country.”
Moonlight star Mahershala Ali indirectly addressed the immigration ban while accepting his award for outstanding performance in a dramatic role. “I think what I’ve learned from working on Moonlight is we see what happens when you persecute people: they fold into themselves,” he began.
Ali noted that his mother, an ordained minister, “didn’t do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted [to Islam] 17 years ago.” But in time, they were able to put religious differences aside. “We love each other and the love has grown. And that stuff is minutia. It’s not that important.”