WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Saturday after two Iraqis with valid visas were denied entry into the United States yesterday after having served our military in Iraq. As of this release, at least one of the detainees had been released on a Special Immigrant Visa after being held for almost 24 hours:
“The detention of these individuals makes immediately clear the dangerous and destabilizing implications of President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order on U.S. national security. These two brave men had critical roles in supporting U.S. forces in Iraq. They did so at significant personal risk to themselves and their families. Yet President Trump’s potentially-unlawful order left them alone and abandoned, and sends a chilling message to anyone willing to assist United States forces overseas. In so doing, the President made the world more dangerous for America.
“Compounding this tragic ordeal, the immediate families of the two detainees are already here in the United States.
“This betrayal of our friends and those who stood with us – indeed of our deepest values as a nation – promises to make the U.S. less safe and places our courageous servicemen and women in even greater danger as they fight against terrorism.
“I call upon the President to rescind his Executive Order, before it does any more damage to our national security, endangers the lives of Americans or our allies, and erodes further the moral reputation of the United States of America.”