GOP Senator Says Trump Executive Order On Refugees Is ‘Too Broad’

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Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) on Saturday said that President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees entry to the United States was “too broad” and risked serving as recruiting fodder for terrorist groups.

“While not technically a Muslim ban, this order is too broad,” Sasse said in a statement.

Though the Nebraska Republican said it was clear that jihadi terrorism was particularly concentrated in “certain countries,” he argued that Trump’s blanket 120-day ban on refugees tells “the Middle East that the U.S. sees all Muslims as jihadis.”

Under the executive order signed Friday, Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely and citizens from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya are prohibited from entering the country for 90 days.

This policy makes “the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion,” Sasse, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said. Such action makes “us less safe,” he added.

A few other Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), spoke out against the ban on Saturday.

Amash sent a series of tweets claiming the order “overreaches and undermines our constitutional system,” and urging Trump to “work with Congress” to alter immigration law.

“It’s not lawful to ban immigrants on basis of nationality,” Amash added.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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