WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today released a statement in response to President Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending refugee admittance and issuance of visas for individuals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The seven countries were recognized by the Obama administration and Congress as countries of concern in 2015.
“President Trump’s executive order follows through on the promises made on the campaign trail to secure our country and protect our citizens,” Inhofe said. “This is not a Muslim ban, as the measure suspends all refugee admittance for 120 days and suspends the issuance of visas to nationals of seven specific countries for 90 days. Time and again terrorists have stated their intent to infiltrate refugee populations in order to spread their ideology and terror throughout the West, as has already happened in Europe. Furthermore, the pause on visa applicants for countries that Congress and the Departments of State and Homeland Security have determined as areas of concern to national security is reasonable given the unrest and state of instability in each of those countries. President Trump’s measures are temporary and will allow for the new administration to review and strengthen our immigration programs. The administration should have delayed implementation of this order so that the agencies, airlines and foreign travelers could have prepared and made arrangements in compliance, but I am confident these issues will be addressed swiftly to reduce confusion and uncertainty. The Trump administration is comprised of well-respected experts, and it is imperative that Senate Democrats immediately allow for the confirmation of his cabinet picks so that the President’s policies are well implemented. Throughout its history, the United States has been a beacon around the world for religious freedom and has welcomed those seeking refuge from persecution; our country will continue to be that beacon.”