Barletta Provides Additional Comments on Trump Executive Order on Refugees

Jan 30, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today commented further on President Trump’s executive order of Friday, January 27, 2017, which suspended the flawed U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and focused specifically on Syria and six other countries known to be hotbeds of terrorism.  The executive order halted the entire refugee program for 120 days, while also barring the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely.  Additionally, the order barred the admission of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen for 90 days.  In the meantime, the president ordered a review of the screening, or vetting, process until it can be determined that refugee applicants are indeed the individuals they claim to be.  The Department of Homeland Security has stated that the order will not impact Legal Permanent Residents, or holders of green cards.

Barletta issued the following statement:

“In a sense, the reaction from some quarters to President Trump’s executive order is understandable, because people are not used to a president who intends to enforce the borders of the United States.  It is the president’s job to protect the American people.  And it is also important to recognize that citizens of foreign nations simply do not have the right to unfettered admission to the United States.  What the president has done is to ensure that we have the time and capability to accurately determine the background of people seeking access to this country.  There will be a tiny percentage of travelers who are affected, and of those, most will experience only minor inconveniences while the new policies are enacted.  Each day, 325,000 people from other countries attempt to enter the United States.  On the day the president’s order took effect, only 109 of those were denied entry.

“In no way can the order be construed as a ban on any particular religion.  There are approximately 50 Muslim-majority countries in the world, and this order affects seven of them.  These seven nations were identified as terrorist havens by none other than the Obama Administration, and it was this designation which President Trump used in selecting them.

“Let’s remember that President Obama did the same thing when he suspended refugee applications from Iraq for six months in 2011.  I somehow do not recall the same level of outrage at that time.  It is now, as it was then, within the president’s authority to suspend or halt the admission of people from certain nations in the interest of American national security. 

“Additionally, those who are complaining about the omission of certain nations from the restrictions seem to be contradicting their own arguments against President Trump’s actions.  While they are in reality opposing his actions entirely, they are simultaneously claiming that he didn’t go far enough.  This completely undermines their arguments in opposition to his order.

“Finally, I will add that I am very concerned about the reaction of Canada’s prime minister, who has declared that his country will accept any and all refugees who want to emigrate to that nation.  While we are attempting to increase the security of our own borders, he is advocating the relaxing of his own nation’s defenses.  This is a reminder that we should be concerned about the security of all of our borders: northern, southern, maritime, or at international airports.”