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Virginia officials condemn Trump's immigration ban

(WHSV)
Published: Jan. 28, 2017 at 8:24 PM EST
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UPDATE (1/28/17 9:47 p.m.): A federal judge in New York has barred the U.S. from deporting travelers with valid visas covered by Trump's executive order.

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Three prominent Virginia officials issued statements Saturday afternoon condemning President Donald Trump's recent executive order barring people from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S.

Below are the words from Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Sen. Tim Kaine and AG Mark Herring:

"I am outraged and disappointed by the actions President Trump has taken to ban travelers from certain Muslim nations and to close our country to families seeking refuge from persecution. This executive order is antithetical to the values that make America great, and it will make our country less safe. "On behalf of the people of Virginia, I urge President Trump and leaders in Washington to reverse this policy and restore our nation to its place as a beacon of opportunity for all. In the meantime, my administration will work with Attorney General Mark Herring to identify any and all legal steps we can take to oppose this dangerous and divisive policy."

— Gov. Terry McAuliffe

“I am appalled by the cruelty the Trump Administration has demonstrated over the past 24 hours. By indefinitely suspending the Syrian refugee program and imposing a religious test at our borders, he has defied everything our nation stands for. He's also weakened our national security by empowering ISIL's narrative that the West is at war with Islam and encouraging Muslim countries to further cooperate with adversaries like Russia and Iran. For decades, America has acted as the Good Samaritan and extended a welcoming hand to those who yearn to be free. We should continue to thoroughly vet all refugees who enter the United States, but we cannot abandon our core principles. If we turn our backs on widows and orphans fleeing the very evil we despise, we do not defeat our enemies; we surrender to them. “It is also incredulous that at the same time the President is asking the Pentagon for new options to defeat ISIL, he is banning Iraqi refugees from entering the country. The government of Iraq is our ally in the fight against ISIL. Its troops fight alongside ours. Its interpreters risk their own lives and the lives of their families to protect U.S. personnel. It undermines our national security and endangers our soldiers to have our Iraqi partners and other Muslim countries distrust our commitment and motives. President Trump said he was ‘totally against’ the U.S. invasion in 2003, which led to Iraq’s destabilization and the rise of ISIL. I guess he is not ‘totally against’ leaving its people to suffer the consequences.”

— Sen. Tim Kaine

"This order is in direct conflict with the most foundational principles of our country and our Commonwealth. For generations, the United States has been a beacon of hope and a safe harbor for those in need. President Trump is dimming that light and slamming the door in the face of vulnerable people fleeing unimaginable circumstances. He is also sending a terrible signal to minority communities that they too could be the target of his ire and telling Muslims in Virginia and around the country that they are inferior because of their faith. That is simply shameful. "Along with Gov. McAuliffe, my team and I are closely examining this order, something President Trump and his administration apparently failed to do before issuing it, and exploring any options we may have to oppose this un-American, discriminatory, and misguided action."

— AG Mark Herring

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA 6th) issued the following statement in support of Pres. Trump's action:

“The primary duty of the federal government is to keep Americans safe. Today, President Trump has begun to fulfill this responsibility by taking a number of critical steps within his authority to strengthen national security and the integrity of our nation’s immigration system. As ISIS terrorists have vowed to use the immigration system to inflict harm, it’s imperative that we know who is coming and going from our country. National security officials have repeatedly warned that we dramatically lack the resources and information to fully vet refugees from countries of concern, like Syria. “Unlike his predecessor, I am pleased that President Trump is using the tools granted to him by Congress and the power granted by the Constitution to help keep America safe and ensure we know who is entering the United States. It’s sensible to hit pause on admitting foreign nationals and refugees from countries where adequate screening cannot occur, and it’s long past time for the completion of the Entry-Exit system in order to crack down on those who overstay their visas. I look forward to continue working with President Trump to ensure the safety and security of our great nation.”