President Trump Addresses Backlash Following Refugee Ban: 'This Is Not About Religion'
President Donald Trump has provided his response to international outrage in the wake of his controversial executive order
“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border,” he said in a statement released by the White House Sunday. “America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave. We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say.”
Trump’s order suspended entry of all refugees to the U.S. for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the U.S. for 90 days for nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Iran. This decision has led to public outcry from celebrities and others worldwide, resulting in countless social media posts and protests across the U.S.
His statement continued, comparing himself to his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”
Trump continued, maintaining that visas will eventually be issued after the 90-day period.
“There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days. I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.”
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Before releasing the statement, Trump called out Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who issued a joint statement explaining their concerns about the order on Sunday. Part of their message stated, “Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.”
Trump responded, tweeting out, “The joint statement of former presidential candidates John McCain & Lindsey Graham is wrong — they are sadly weak on immigration. The two Senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III.”