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Trump order bars all refugees from entering U.S. for 4 months

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump, left, handed Defense Secretary James Mattis, right, a pen after he signed an executive action on rebuilding the military during an event at the Pentagon today in Washington.

WASHINGTON >> President Donald Trump has barred all refugees from entering the United States for four months, and indefinitely halted any from Syria, saying the ban is needed to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists.”

The order Friday immediately suspended a program that last year resettled in the U.S. roughly 85,000 people displaced by war, political oppression, hunger and religious prejudice. Trump indefinitely blocked those fleeing Syria, where a civil war has raged, and imposed a 90-day ban on all immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim majority nations, citing terrorism concerns.

“We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas,” Trump said as he signed the order at the Pentagon. “We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.”

Trump said the halt in the refugee program was necessary to give agencies time to develop a stricter screening system. While the order did not spell out what additional steps he wants the departments of Homeland Security and State to take, the president directed officials to review the refugee application and approval process and find any more measures that could prevent those who pose a threat from using the refugee program.

The U.S. may admit refugees on a case-by-case basis during the freeze, and the government will continue to process requests from people claiming religious persecution, “provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country.”

In an interview with CBN News, Trump said persecuted Christians would be given priority in applying for refugee status.

“We are going to help them,” Trump said. “They’ve been horribly treated.”

The order was signed on Trump’s most robust day of national security and foreign policy at the start of his presidency. He met with British Prime Minister Theresa May and had a lengthy phone call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

As a candidate, Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. He later shifted his focus to putting in place “extreme vetting” procedures to screen people coming to the U.S. from countries with terrorism ties.

The State Department said the three-month ban in the directive applied to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — all Muslim-majority nations.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it would challenge the constitutionality of the executive order.

“There is no evidence that refugees — the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation — are a threat to national security,” Lena F. Masri, the group’s national litigation director. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”

During the past budget year, the U.S. accepted 84,995 refugees, including 12,587 people from Syria. President Barack Obama had set the refugee limit for this budget year at 110,000.

According to Trump’s executive order, he plans to cut that to 50,000. Refugee processing was suspended in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and restarted months later.

The president was applauded by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said it was “time to re-evaluate and strengthen the visa-vetting process.”

But many Democrats cast the measures as un-American.

“Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight as a grand tradition of America, welcoming immigrants, that has existed since America was founded has been stomped upon,” said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

The order makes no mention of a plan to provide safe zones in Syria and the surrounding area. A draft of the order had directed the Pentagon and the State Department to produce a plan for safe zones in the war-torn Mideast nation.

The president’s directive capped a hectic first week for Trump at the White House, giving Americans an initial look at how he intends to position the United States around the globe.

Earlier Friday, he hosted May at the White House for his first meeting with a world leader since taking office. Asked about whether he would revert back to Bush-era use of torture, Trump said he would defer to the views of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

“He has stated publicly that he does not necessarily believe in torture or waterboarding, or however you want to define it. … I don’t necessarily agree,” Trump said. “But I would tell you that he will override because I’m giving him that power. He’s an expert.”

The Associated Press and other news organizations have obtained copies of a draft executive order signaling sweeping changes to U.S. interrogation and detention policy. The draft, which the White House said was not official, also requests recommendations on whether the U.S. should reopen CIA detention facilities outside the United States. Critics said the clandestine sites have marred America’s image on the world stage.

Trump held firm on another matter of contention, trade and illegal immigration from Mexico. He told reporters he had a “very good call” with Pena Nieto earlier in the day, but he reaffirmed his belief that Mexico has “outnegotiated and beat us to a pulp” on trade — and that would change.

“We’re no longer going to be the country that doesn’t know what it’s doing,” he declared a day after the Mexican leader canceled his visit to Washington in response to Trump’s plans to build a border wall and have Mexico pay for it.

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  • Allie, klastri, nanakuliboss, vector and the rest of you Democrats. Let’s see what you can do. Can’t do jack that’s what. Time to follow or get out of the way

    • Lol,you prowl SA then get on to defend trumpf? Keep licking Goo Aid. Lots of pen flapping and photo opping. Its still week 1. But do admit that Mattis should have the last and most important on the military. I wonder how he feels about Donald 4 effing out of NAM. They had the $$$ back in the 60’$ for doctors and political signatures.

        • So are you implying that implementing better security screening for people who hail from terrorist-based countries is racist?

        • All I saw was a statement that less spark is an ignorant, loathesome racist. I saw no implications in that. No problem either.

        • “He never knows anything about any subject”

          “racist, loser, psychotic”

          Calling people these big fatuous names does not indicate that you know anything either.

        • “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a person”.

        • Klastri, you wouldn’t feel that way if one of the refugees blew up a bus and it injured one of your family members. The list of terrorist attacks over the past few decades have been overwhelmingly executed by Muslims. It just takes one to cause havoc. CARE doesn’t have an answer as to how to stop such a terrorist. They are now suing for their “rights” to enter our country. As far as I’m concerned, based on all the havoc Muslim extremists have caused, they lost that “right”. And I’m sure you agree people like the Fort Hood terrorist is just that and that work place violence is an almost ludicrous statement.

        • By the way, lespark doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. Statistics don’t lie.
          I’m glad President Trump recognizes the threat posed by Muslim Extremists. I’m gld someone finally does in Government. It’s very disingenuous when political leaders, who are protected around the clock by armed security, refuses to recognize the threat of Muslim Extremists and Sharia law

    • IET LesPark, hey, have you heard of the 60 day rule on executive orders and administrative rules? This afternoon, it was explained by Congress. Any executive order or administrative rules can be overturned by Congress with a majority vote of both houses. Okay, now the kicker. The 60 day rule applies to executive orders and administrative rules only if they are presented to Congress and approved by Congress. Now, if the Obama administration in 2009 developed administrative rules and did not present its revised rules for Congressional approval, the 60 day rule continues to apply. What is being requested by Congress is for each of the Administrative Departments submit all administrative rule(s) not submitted to Congress from 2009. As soon as Congress receives the amended rules, the 60 day rule applies. The Hawaii born ex-President Obama attempting to conceal his actions did not submit the amendments to Congress and will all be over turned by the majority Republican Congress under the 60 day rule. It’s becoming very exciting, that eight years of Obama orders and rules could be overturned.

      • kuroiwaj – Where should I start with this comment? So many mistakes …..

        Let’s start with the fact that Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution describes the power of the Executive (President). The Congress cannot add a rule that defies the Constitution to limit the power granted to the President by the Constitution. The Judiciary can strike down an executive order, but Congress cannot, unless they enact legislation that would need to be signed by the Executive (and presumably would not be) or is quashed by an override vote in Congress following a Presidential veto.

        The fact is that you complained about executive orders when Obama was in office, and now you support them. Go figure!

        And yes, of course executive orders are easy to conceal. Exactly. Who could find out?

        Why do you make up things like this?

        • IRT Klastri, look up 1996 Congressional Review Act signed by President Clinton that details what we are discussing. This Act was part of the 1994 Contract with America when the House changed from Democrat to Republican. The law is clear and specific.

        • IRT Klastri, are you an attorney? You truly give me pause. “Unless they (Congress) enact legislation that would need to be signed by the Executive” and today we have President Donald J. Trump. Not Hawaii born ex-President Obama. Oh, check the “Start date” of the 60 day review period.

    • The Boss is right: The refugees were already receiving a 2-year process of thorough vetting from both the Bush and Obama administration. Trump makes America no safer. Just the opposite actually.

      • Allie, you apparently missed FBI Director Comey’s testimony before Congress that most of the so-called refugees from Syria have no documents or papers to show who are what they are and that it is IMPOSSIBLE to vet them for entry into the US. So, do we still let them in based on what they say?

  • Funny no one’s banned from Saudi Arabia — you know, the country where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from. Come to that, none of the 9/11 hijackers came from one of the 7 countries listed above (the other hijackers came from Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE).

  • Mr. Trump apparently doesn’t own a globe. He somehow mixed up the origin countries of all of the people who actually committed terrorist acts in the U.S., including Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It would be impossible to make up this level of ignorance and incompetence.

    And his “extreme vetting” procedure to give preference to Christian immigrants is to ask them “What is your religion?” That certainly sounds extreme to me! Who would ever be able to figure out that Trump secret? He’s a genius!

    Sadly, Mr. Trump is a psychotic. He’s validating that fact every single day.

  • Even former Vice President Dick Cheney has denounced Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to ban Muslim immigration in America.

    Cheney, a decisive conservative himself, said Monday on The Hugh Hewitt Show that the ban “goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”

    “I think this whole notion that somehow we can just say no more Muslims, just ban a whole religion, goes against everything we stand for and believe in. I mean, religious freedom has been a very important part of our history and where we came from,” Cheney said on a Monday appearance on the radio show. ‘A lot of people, my ancestors got here, because they were Puritans.'”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/dick-cheney-donald-trump-muslim-ban-extreme?utm_content=buffera0f4d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  • Why are there Medal of Honors in the background? What a disgrace. I am truly offended and amused. I still remember vividly how gracefully a little Syrian girl pointed to my friend who was taking his last breath letting her dad or uncle know who saved her. I can’t describe the look of awe and gratitude, and thankfulness in their eyes. I doubt that little girl is a threat to you. I wouldn’t know what to say to that little girl right now to explain or rationalize Donald Trump’s actions. Rebuild the military sick of hearing it and offended by that ignorant catch phrase. I’m almost ashamed to be American right now.

    • IRT RealSamFisher, there are replica’s of the Medal of Honor in the background because the President, Vice President and incoming Secretary of Defense was sworn into office were in the Pentagon. OMG RSF, Hello.

    • realsamfisher – It’s because Donald Trump is a loathsome coward. He made up a medical condition (that he subsequently could not remember) to dodge the draft. Cowards often try to surround themselves with actual heroes, or the symbols of heroes, to try to wash away the stain of cowardice.

      Mr. Trump won’t be able to do that. He’s a 70 year-old man who has spent most of his life in one building. He’s afraid of hand shaking, and children who have been displaced by war in Syria. He is an international embarrassment, and a pathetic coward who ran away when he was called to serve his country at war. A worthless piece of garbage.

  • Given the high anti-american sentiment in the muslim world, it’s only common sense to stop immigration from muslim majority countries until we can be sure terrorists cannot exploit the refugee immigration system. I don’t see how any american could oppose safeguarding american lives by preventing terrorists from entering the country.
    There should be no doubt about the loyalty of a refugee when they are allowed into the country. The safety of the homeland has to come first. When there’s doubt, then there’s no doubt they should be denied entry.

  • US Constitution, 1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Well, I guess the preference for Christian refugees isn’t an act of Congress, but our Dictator in Chief. But that doesn’t make it right. I am a Christian who is appalled by this !

  • If any posters here can run this country better than any of the Presidents we’ve had in the past and the present one, please run for president and give the rest of us some peace from your bellyaching! Mahalo!

  • Looking at the comments, again there is no reasonable arguments coming out, just responses to angry rhetoric, thinly veiled bigotry, xenophobia, and ignorance. Both political parties are to blame really. Mr. Obama’s legal background should have given him the knowledge to implement stricter guidelines on the uses of executive orders, or even to provide amendments on limitations…except that he used many executive orders to force his policies through. The constant fear mongering amongst the populace, keeping the organs of government constantly guessing and off balance however are trademark tricks of fascist regimes. Think about it. Don’t just foam at the mouth. Think. That’s all.

  • An update from the ACLU. Please volunteer if you are an attorney or join the ACLU.

    Trump is trampling on the law and the Constitution and he will be stopped. He is a psychotic. Obviously.

    This morning the ACLU and several other legal organizations filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqi men who were en route to the United States when President Trump issued an executive order banning many Muslims from entering the country.

    The lead plaintiffs were detained by the U.S. government and threatened with deportation – even though they have valid visas to enter the United States.

    One plaintiff, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, worked for the U.S. military. His life was in danger in his home country due to that relationship. A former Obama administration official and platoon commander during the invasion of Iraq said on Twitter yesterday that Mr. Darweesh “spent years keeping U.S. soldiers alive in combat in Iraq.”

    The family of the other plaintiff, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, was also threatened because of perceived ties to the United States. His wife and 7-year-old son are lawful permanent residents living in Houston, Texas and were eagerly awaiting his arrival. Mr. Alshawi’s son has not seen his father for three years.

    Tellingly, Trump’s executive order authorizes the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to admit refugees on a “case-by-case” basis, for people of a minority religion in their home countries. In effect, Trump has barred Muslims from entering the United States, while favoring the entry of Christians.

    Mr. Darweesh was just released from detention at John F. Kennedy International Airport this afternoon, but Mr. Alshawi and others remain in detention. The ACLU and its supporters will not stand for the Trump administration’s unconstitutional discrimination. Today, and every day, we will fight back.

    For more information on our lawsuit, please see https://www.aclu.org/cases/darweesh-v-trump.

    Thank you for standing with us,

    The ACLU Action team

  • I find it telling that the Trump specifically let Saudi Arabia off the hook, seeing as the majority of the 9-11 terrorists came from that country. His business deals there over safeguarding the country? Lying hypocrite.

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