BY JORDAIN CARNEY
01/30/17 the hill
President Trump’s executive order to temporarily halt a federal program admitting refugees has sparked criticism from his party and confusion for security officials across the country.
The orders imposed a 90-day ban on the entry of nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It also indefinitely paused the entry of refugees from Syria.
Green hard holders from the seven countries were initially denied entry on Saturday as officials sought to implement the order, though White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Sunday that those with green cards would be allowed to come into the United States.
Trump defended the policies on Sunday as not imposing a ban on Muslims, arguing they were necessary to give the U.S. control over its borders and to protect the country from terrorist threats.
A number of GOP lawmakers have expressed concern or opposition over the administration’s policies, which could raise pressure on Trump to make additional changes. Here’s a look at the Republicans opposing, critical or supportive of the order.
SENATORS OPPOSING THE ORDER (5)
Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
Alexander said in a statement to a local TV station that «this vetting proposal itself needed more vetting. More scrutiny of those traveling from war-torn countries to the United States is wise. But this broad and confusing order seems to ban legal, permanent residents with ‘green cards’…and while not explicitly a religious test, it comes close to one which is inconsistent with our American character.”
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)
Collins said the Trump executive order is «overly broad and implementing it will be immediately problematic.» She added that «religious tests serve no useful purpose in the immigration process and run contrary to our American values.»
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
Graham, in a joint statement with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday, sad the order wasn’t «property vetted» and the two senators said they «fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.»
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.)
McCain said the order has created a «very confusing process,» adding, “I think the effect will probably in some areas give ISIS some more propaganda.»
In a joint statement with Graham, he added, “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.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.)
«The President is right to focus attention on the obvious fact that borders matter. At the same time, while not technically a Muslim ban, this order is too broad,» Sasse said.
SENATORS EXPRESSING CONCERN ABOUT THE ORDER (11)
Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.)
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman said in a statement that «this executive order has been poorly implemented, especially with respect to green card holders. The administration should immediately make appropriate revisions.»
Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.)
Flake said in a Medium post that while the Trump administration is «right to be concerned about national security … it’s unacceptable when even legal permanent residents are being detained or turned away at airports and ports of entry.»
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
Hatch said the administration should «move to quickly tailor its policy on visa issuance as narrowly as possible, delivering on our security needs while reducing unnecessary burdens on the vast majority of visa seekers.»
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
«I share the president’s desire to protect our nation from harm,» Heller said on Twitter.
«I agree that better vetting and border protection measures are necessary that’s why I support the thorough vetting of individuals entering our country. However, I am deeply troubled by the appearance of religious ban. The use of an overly broad executive order is not the way strengthen national security. I encourage the administration to partner with Congress to find a solution.»
Sen. James Lankford (Okla.)
Sen. Mike Lee (Utah)
Lee told the Salt Lake Tribune he does » have some technical questions about President Trump’s Executive Order” and said he and his staff “will continue to reach out to the White House for clarification on these issues.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
McConnell said «it’s a good idea to tighten the vetting process, but I also think it’s important to remember that some of our best sources in the war against radical Islamic terrorism are Muslims.»
He did not specifically say he opposed the executive order noting it would be up to the courts to decide if it’s «gone too far.»
Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)
Portman told CNN that the executive order wasn’t «properly vetted» and that the administration should «slow down.»
“We ought to all take a deep breath and come up with something that makes sense for our national security and again for this notion that America has always been a welcoming home for refugees and immigrants.»
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
In a statement with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said that while it’s clear “some of what is being said and reported about the scope and implications of these measures is misleading,” it’s “also clear that the manner in which these measures were crafted and implemented have greatly contributed to the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty.”
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
In a statement, Scott and Rubio said they 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.”
They said they both “committed to doing what we must to keep America safe” while also remaining “equally committed to the defense of religious liberty and our tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.)
Tillis posted a statement on Twitter that pointed out “there is a lot of confusion surrounding the order”and said implementation should be “refined to provide more clarity and mitigate unintended consequences that do not make our country any safer.”
— Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) January 29, 2017
HOUSE MEMBERS OPPOSING THE ORDER (7)
Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.)
Amash outlined his concerns in a string of tweets, arguing that while more refugee vetting is needed, «a blanket ban represents an extreme approach not consistent with our nation’s values.»
Rep. Mike Coffman (Colo.)
«While I’ve supported heightened vetting procedures, I have never, nor will I ever support a blanket travel ban for people solely based on ethnic or religious grounds,» Coffman said.
Rep. Charlie Dent (Pa.)
«I guess I understand what his intention is, but unfortunately the order appears to have been rushed through without full consideration,» Dent told the Washington Post.
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.)
Fitzpatrick said in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer that the order «entirely misses the mark.» He added that, «while serious actions are needed to protect our country, these must not be done in a way that singles out any specific nations or ethnicities.»
Rep. Will Hurd (Texas)
«This visa ban is the ultimate display of mistrust and will erode our allies’ willingness to fight with us,” Hurd told CNN. “The ban also provides terrorists with another tool to gain sympathy and recruit new fighters.»
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)
Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement that she opposes «the suspension of visas from the seven named countries because we could have accomplished our objective of keeping our homeland safe by immediate implementation of more thorough screening procedures.»
Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.)
Sefanik wrote in a Facebook post that «our first role as the federal government is to protect our national security and I believe we need to work in Congress to reform and strengthen our visa vetting process. However, I oppose President Trump’s rushed and overly broad Executive Order.»
HOUSE MEMBERS EXPRESSING CONCERN ABOUT THE ORDER (6)
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.)
In a Sunday tweet, Curbelo said, “US permanent residents shouldn’t be detained, deported, or discriminated against. They’ve already been thoroughly vetted #executiveorders.”
He later added that he was «grateful» to see Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announce that “the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest.»
Rep. Barbara Comstock (Va.)
Comstock said Trump’s executive order «went beyond the increased vetting actions that Congress has supported on a bipartisan basis and inexplicably applied to green card holders. …This should be addressed and corrected expeditiously.»
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.)
Kinzinger wrote in a Medium post, «I support a comprehensive look at our vetting process. …However, reports of green card holders and those who assisted us in the war on terror being denied or delayed entry is deeply concerning.»
Rep. Raul Labrador (Idaho)
Labrador called Trump’s order a «sound policy» and criticized the media for calling it a Muslim ban. But he said permanent U.S. residents should not be denied entry and criticized the administration’s rollout